Several hundred people turned out Tuesday evening with banners declaring "Peace here and everywhere" and "Boston, you're our home."
Participants sang songs including "Amazing Grace" and "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Three people were killed and more than 170 people were injured in the bombings near the end of the race on Monday.
Northeastern University student Scott Turner hugged friends, wept and prayed at the vigil. He said the people of Boston would not be afraid and would respond by showing peace and supporting one another.
There was also a heavy military presence on the Common with dozens of National Guard troops.CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS FROM THE SCENE OF THE BOSTON MARATHON EXPLOSIONS