On Wednesday night at Trinity Episcopal Church in Towson, which runs the preschool where Brannock teaches 2-year-olds, local residents and friends gathered to pray for comfort for the bombing victims and their families.

The Rev. Arianna Weeks, rector at a sister church in Ruxton, told the crowd assembled for the vigil about her memories of living in Queens, N.Y., after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and the similarities between those and the more recent violence.

"Faith, religion, it doesn't shield us from pain and violence," Weeks said. "Prayer is the balm."

Together, the congregation prayed for peace and for those everywhere in the world who live under the threat of terror.

"Bestow your healing grace and favor on Erika, her family and all those affected by the senseless tragedy in Boston," they said as one. "Help us who struggle in the midst of these horrible acts of violence to continue to keep a calm and prayerful heart and acknowledge that you are our focus."

What sort of prosthetic device the young teacher will be able to afford is unclear, though fundraisers have been started to raise money for her and her sister's recovery.

Brannock is also a happy and confident person, according to family and friends, and Downing said her daughter's spirits are high.

The two sisters are in separate but nearby hospitals, and Downing is splitting her time between the two. Nicole Gross' husband, Michael Gross, was also injured in the blast, though far less severely, and has been discharged.

Downing was planning to arrange the first Skype conversation between her daughters Wednesday night.

Baltimore Sun reporter Carrie Wells contributed to this article.

krector@baltsun.com

ywenger@baltsun.com

Erika Brannock Fund

A trust fund has been established for preschool teacher Erika Brannock, who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombings. Donations can be made payable to the Erika Brannock Fund and mailed to the Erika Brannock Fund, P.O. Box 828, Sparks 21152. More information is available at http://www.TheBrannockFund.com.