The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting, which unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor the memories of the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and grandchildren who left too soon, is scheduled to be held on Sunday, December 9th, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.
As candles are lit at 7:00 p.m. local time, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor the memory of all children gone too soon.
Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the 22nd annual Worldwide Candle Lighting, a gift to the bereavement community from The Compassionate Friends, creates a virtual 24hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone.
Started in the United States in 1997 as a small internet observance, the event has since swelled in numbers as word has spread throughout the world of the remembrance. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten.
The Compassionate Friends and allied organizations are joined by local bereavement groups, churches, funeral homes, hospitals, hospices, children's gardens, schools, cemeteries, and community centers.
Services have ranged in size from just a few people to nearly a thousand.
Starting in New Zealand, candles are lit at 7:00 PM local time. As candles burn down in one time zone, they are lit in the next, creating a virtual 24-hour wave of light as the observance continues around the world.
TCF’s website, www.compassionatefriends.org, will host extended chat room hours and a message board for families to post tributes. Last year there were over 4,000 posted messages from all corners of the world.
TCF mission statement: When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated.
The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope, and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family.