Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting Bonds Bereaved Families

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Families that have experienced the death of a child have one day during the year and the difficult holiday season to join with bereaved families around the globe to honor the memory of their child and all children of any age who have died. The Worldwide Candle Lighting, sponsored by The Compassionate Friends and held on the second Sunday in December, is believed by many to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe as hundreds of services are held throughout all 50 United States, as well as abroad. Officially the Worldwide Candle Lighting starts at 7 p.m. local time for one hour around the globe, but services are held throughout the day. At least 14 countries abroad are holding formal candle lightings and thousands of messages are expected to flood The Compassionate Friends Remembrance Book on TCF's national website during the Worldwide Candle Lighting Day.

This year we're being joined by chapters from a number of bereavement organizations including Twinless Twins, MISS, MADD, and BPUSA, as well as local bereavement groups, hospitals, funeral homes, hospices, memorial gardens, and churches of many denominations. All are welcome to join with us now and for future Worldwide Candle Lightings as this is our gift to the bereavement community

Candles of remembrance will shine bright around the world this Sunday, December 9 as tens of thousands of bereaved families join together to remember all children who have died. The Worldwide Candle Lighting, sponsored by The Compassionate Friends, is held for one hour at 7 p.m. local time and unites the global bereavement community in remembrance of all children who have died, regardless of age, religion, or ethnic origin.

"This is our 11th Worldwide Candle Lighting and the response in the United States and abroad has become huge as it grows larger every year," says Patricia Loder, executive director of The Compassionate Friends/USA. Last year TCF received information on more than 360 services held in the United States, with services in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Worldwide, TCF was made aware of services held in more than a dozen countries including Austria, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Canada, Cayman Islands, England, Germany, Guam, Mexico, Poland, Switzerland, and Thailand.

"This year we're being joined by chapters from a number of bereavement organizations including Twinless Twins, MISS, MADD, and BPUSA, as well as local bereavement groups, hospitals, funeral homes, hospices, memorial gardens, and churches of many denominations. All are welcome to join with us now and for future Worldwide Candle Lightings as this is our gift to the bereavement community," says Mrs. Loder, herself a twice bereaved parent. "Many community services are held by non-formal groups of bereaved families who gather just once a year to remember those children gone but never forgotten."

Everyone is also invited to TCF's national website http://www.compassionatefriends.org the day of the Worldwide Candle Lighting to leave a message in an online Remembrance Book that will receive thousands of entries including many in foreign languages. Extended Online Support Community hours will be available on the website.    

To view information on the hundreds of services around the country, visit TCF's national website or call 877-969-0010. Anyone who is unable to attend a service is invited to light a candle wherever they may be.

The Compassionate Friends has a mission to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive.

As the world's largest self-help bereavement organization, The Compassionate Friends has a national presence in at least 30 countries around the world. In the United States, TCF has more than 600 chapters, with locations in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. Bereaved family members, friends, and professionals may call 877-969-0010 for the nearest TCF chapter location.

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WAYNE LODER
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