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Area chapter joins in TCF worldwide candle lighting

Staff reports

As an act of loving remembrance, members of the Greater Cumberland chapter of The Compassionate Friends (TCF), an international self-help support group for families grieving the death of a child, will join tens of thousands of people world wide in lighting candles at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10.

While no formal ceremony is planned locally, members will light their candles individually and with friends and family in their homes. The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting is an annual event where persons around the globe, united in the loss of a child, light candles for one hour the second Sunday in December. Candles are first lit in New Zealand at 7 p.m., local time. As candles burn down in one time zone, they are then lit in the next. This creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as the observance continues around the world.

“While this is a global event, it all starts at the local level as members of TCF chapters observe this special day, whether alone, with friends and family or in an organized candle lighting ceremony,” says TCF Interim Executive Director Pat Loder. “Our hope is that through this combined act, people will realize that they are not alone and that their child, grandchild or sibling is remembered during the difficult holiday season. We invite all people to join in this moving tribute.”

With the theme “and their light may always shine,” the event is now in its fourth year, with each observance larger than the last. On the Internet, the national TCF Web site will host extended chat room hours and a message board for families to share their experiences throughout the day and post tributes.

The candle lighting coincides with National Children’s Memorial Day. At the request of The Compassionate Friends, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed unanimous resolutions proclaiming December 10th National Children’s Memorial Day.

For more information, call 883-5388, or for information about the national organization and locations of nearly 600 chapters nationwide, call toll-free (877) 969-0010. The Compassionate Friends is located in 35 countries worldwide.