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Annual candlelight memorial service

FORT PLAIN — The 12th annual candlelight memorial service, sponsored by the Catholic Daughters of the Americas and Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church, will host this ecumenical event at 6:45 p.m. Dec. 13 at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church, 115 Reid St., for families who have had a child die, according to a news release.

The plans are underway in hundreds of areas across the country and around the globe for a worldwide candle lighting event.

The annual worldwide candle lighting event, held the second Sunday in December, unites family and friends who light candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles burn down in one time zone, they are then lit in the next, creating a virtual 24-hour wave of light as the observances continues around the world. This event unites the families to mourn as one, especially during the holidays. This special Sunday, thousands of families join in quietly, lighting candles informally in their home or in churches and houses of worship, funeral homes, hospitals and local hospice and civic community groups.

All families and friends are invited to attend from all of the surrounding communities. This service can make handling the holiday season a little easier. Come light a candle in memory of a child, sibling or a grandchild who has died — that their light may always shine. Everyone is invited to participate, whether it is to support someone known or to have been personally touched by the death of a child.

This has been a year of uncertainty in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. So too, has been the decision to hold this annual ecumenical service. After consideration, it has been decided to participate in the event once more. In keeping with guidelines for mass gatherings, reservations must be made promptly because of the limitations of 50 people to meet the distancing regulations. Masks will be required throughout the service. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, the refreshments and social gathering following this year’s service will not take place.

Once again a “memorial table” will be available for displaying poems, pictures and other mementos remembering the life of one’s child. Anyone who has a candle from last year should bring it. For other candle lighting services in the area, go to: CompassionateFriends.com.

RSVP by Friday, to Doris Dutcher, 52 Garfield St., Fort Plain, N.Y. 13339, or call Dutcher at (518) 993-4612.

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