The death of a child is devastating and it’s important to the family that the child always be remembered. The Santa Clarita Chapter of The Compassionate Friends (TCF) will participate in an annual worldwide event on Sunday, December 12, designed to honor the memories of all children, regardless of age, who have died.
On that date, hundreds of organized memorial services will be held around the world for The Compassionate Friends 14th annual Worldwide Candle Lighting, an event now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting in the world. This will be our 10th year participating in the worldwide event.
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The local candle lighting will be part of a special service held at 6:30 pm at Canyon Country Park, 17615 W. Soledad Canyon Road that will feature live performers, music, readings and poems. Candles will be provided to all those who attend. Annually tens of thousands of families, united in loss, light candles for one hour during the Worldwide Candle Lighting. Candles are first lit at 7 p.m., local time, just west of the International Date Line. As candles burn down in one time zone, they are lighted in the next, creating a 24-hour wave of light as the observance continues around the world.
“This is our gift to the bereavement community,” says TCF/USA Executive Director Patricia Loder. “The holiday season is an extremely difficult time of the year for families grieving the death of a child. This marks well over a decade the Worldwide Candle Lighting has united bereaved families around the globe as a symbolic way of showing the love we continue to carry for our children, even though they can no longer be with us physically. This candle lighting transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries as tens of thousands of families share in this worldwide memorial event.
“Here, throughout the United States,” she continued, “members of our more than 625 chapters observe this day in differing ways, some alone, some with friends and family, and many in organized candle lighting ceremonies like the service planned by the Santa Clarita chapter of The Compassionate Friends. We invite everyone, whether or not they have suffered the personal loss of a child, to join in this moving tribute.”
With the theme “…that their light may always shine,” the Worldwide Candle Lighting has grown larger every year with formal services last year in all 50 states and Washington D.C., as well as at least 15 countries around the world. TCF’s national website, www.compassionatefriends.org, is expected to receive and post information on more than the nearly 530 services submitted to and listed on its website last year.
To contact the Santa Clarita Chapter of The Compassionate Friends, call Diane Briones at 252-4654 or Alice Renolds 252-4374. For more information about the national organization and locations of its chapters nationwide, call toll-free 877-969-0010 or visit TCF’s national website. The Compassionate Friends has a presence in 30 countries and is the world’s largest self-help bereavement organization.