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Walsh, full of thanks, spends last day as mayor-elect speaking to seniors and at a prayer service

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At noontime, he smiled broadly, again and again, as a throng of senior citizens pressed forward, angling to pose for a photo with him.

In the afternoon, he clapped his hands, keeping time with a rousing church choir. He bowed his head as dozens of local clergy members — Catholic and Protestant, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh — placed their hands on him and prayed for Martin J. Walsh and the city he is set to lead.

The day before his mayoral inauguration, Walsh attended a noontime brunch for hundreds of Boston seniors in a cavernous room at a Northeastern University athletic center before heading to an afternoon interfaith prayer service in the historic Old South Church.

At times joyful and joking, other times, reverent and reflective, Walsh spent his last day as mayor-elect expressing appreciation in many ways.

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