Sunday, December 1, 2013

Worldwide Candle Lighting

Next Sunday, December 8, is the 17th annual worldwide Candle Lighting remembrance event. I talk about it every year because it is an opportunity for families to join together in memory of all children gone too soon.

In each city there are special events held at churches, mortuaries or Compassionate Friends chapters around the country. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held as well as thousands of informal ones in homes in quiet remembrance of our children who are not forgotten.

Many of these are listed on the Compassionate Friends website,, and anyone can attend these moving events. The national website also invites and encourages everyone to post their memorial message on their message board.

Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the candle lighting creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone.

Over the years I have attended a couple of different types of events. One year one of the city’s TCF groups went to a park. There were about 75 people attending. Everyone brought candles and stood in a circle. All the candles were lit and a speaker said a prayer for our children, we said their names and then we blew out the candles. Refreshments were served and we talked and met each other.

Now each year I go to a local mortuary/cemetery where over 500 people attend. Around the Angel of Hope, built about 6 years ago in the cemetery’s children’s section, we all listen to singing, prayers for the children and then are given a white carnation to place at the base of the Angel of Hope as our child’s name is called. An organization each year makes and donates stuffed teddy bears to give to all parents. It is a lovely touch to a perfect evening.

Check out your city and see what is available. If you don’t find anything, why not do something for those you know who have lost a child to make the worldwide candle lighting a special remembrance for them, especially if newly bereaved.