11/30/2017 - The Oneonta Region Chapter of The Compassionate Friends will join other chapters worldwide to observe The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting Sunday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. The ceremony will be held in the Unitarian Universalist Church, 12 Ford Avenue, Oneonta.
The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting unites families and friends around the globe in honoring the memories of the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and grandchildren who left too soon. Believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the annual ceremony creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone.
This year marks the 22nd annual Candle Lighting for the Oneonta Chapter of TCF. The annual event provides a time for families to remember their departed children and to openly acknowledge the special place they have and will always have in their hearts. This simple act of remembrance may help to make the holiday season more bearable for those who have suffered such a devastating loss. Anyone who has lost a child of any age is welcome to attend. Grandparents, siblings and other close relatives and friends are also welcome.
According to Chapter Leader, Diana Friedell, parents are encouraged to arrive at least 15 minutes early and to bring a small picture of their child. The photo will be placed behind one of the individual votive candles that will be arranged on a special Memory Table. "During the ceremony, each family will come forward and light the candle in front of their child's photo, at which time they will be presented with a long-stemmed rose," said Friedell.
The program includes a variety of music, poetry and personal stories. However, the focal point of the evening will be the candle lighting. Candles will be provided, and refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Local artist David Geer has been commissioned to create original hand painted ornaments for each family to personalize with their child's name. "This year, Dave has designed a beautiful Cardinal ornament. The ornaments will be displayed on a Memory Tree, and they are a gift from the Oneonta Chapter of TCF to each family in attendance," said Friedell.
The Compassionate Friends are a grief support group for families who are dealing with loss after the death of a child. The Oneonta Chapter regularly holds sharing sessions every 3rd Thursday of each month in the Dauley Room of the First United Methodist Church in Oneonta.
The UU Church is accessible for those who are handicapped. For more information: call Diana Friedell at 607-433-2089 or Kathryn or Al Davino at 607-746-7396 or visit the website www.tcfoneonta.org.