Compassionate Friends holds worldwide candle lighting

Photo via In this photo from the Compassionate Friends’ national website, family members participate in a candle-lighting event to remember children who have died.

ESCANABA — Candles will glow Sunday, Dec. 9 when tens of thousands of bereaved parents, siblings, grandparents, relatives, and friends around the globe will join together to light remembrance candles to honor the memories of children who have died but will never be forgotten.

This service started in the United States in 1997 and is now thought to be the largest mass candle-lighting in existence today. The first candles are lit in New Zealand at 7 p.m. and move around the globe in each time zone creating a virtual 24-hour wave of light as hundreds of thousands of people commemorate and honor children in a way that transcends ethnic, cultural, religious and political boundaries.

Held annually the second Sunday in December, this 21st annual Worldwide Candle Lighting is sponsored by The Compassionate Friends (TCF), the nation’s largest self-help bereavement organization for families that have suffered the tragic loss of a child. TCF has more than 660 chapters in the United States, with sister organizations in at least 30 countries around the globe.

The Worldwide Candle Lighting is one way that to try to bring light out of darkness during this difficult time of the year. Like a ring, this circle of light surrounding the globe represents that there is no beginning and no end for the love we carry for our children.

Locally the Worldwide Candle Lighting will be held on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. in the St. Francis Hospital Chapel located at 3401 Ludington Street in Escanaba. (Please use front entrance). The service will include music, poems, readings and the lighting of individual candles for each child. A sharing time and refreshments will follow the service. The public is invited to join in lighting a candle to remember children who have died. If you cannot join physically for this event, individuals are asked to light a candle at home in memory of deceased children so “Their Light May Always Shine.”

This event will be hosted by the Bay de Noc Chapter of The Compassionate Friends. The candles are lit to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. For additional information, feel free to phone Neil or Betty at 786-0477.