The annual Compassionate Friends worldwide candle lighting event is held across the globe as a way to honor the memories of sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and grandchildren who left the world too soon.

Families and friends gather together for this ceremony to light candles for one hour starting at 7 p.m. this coming Sunday (Dec. 10).

Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the 21st annual worldwide candle lighting, is a gift to the bereavement community from the Compassionate Friends.

With each time zone lighting candles at 7 p.m., a virtual 24-hour wave of light is created as it moves across the globe.

The candle lighting event began in 1997 as a small Internet observance. It has since swelled in numbers as word of the remembrance has spread throughout the world. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held, and thousands of informal ones are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died but will never be forgotten. 

In Redwood Falls an event is taking place again this year. The candle lighting it being held at a new location, which is also the new meeting place of the Redwood Area Compassionate Friends.

The Tables, which is located on Second Street in Redwood Falls, will host the candle lighting this year, and those who plan to participate are asked to gather at 6:45 p.m. that day.

Luminaries will be displayed for each child. Those attending may bring a luminary with them, or they will have the chance to make one when they arrive. Those who would like one made for their child are asked to contact Cheryl Gewerth at (507) 430-3252.

A special table to remembrance will be set up, and those who come are asked to bring a photo or some other memento to share. Participants are asked to bring their own candle.

That night participants will also be making a special Christmas ornament in memory of their child. Those planning to attend are asked to bring a small picture of their child to place inside of a clear glass ball.

Everyone is encouraged to attend the annual Compassionate Friends worldwide candle lighting event this coming Sunday.

Compassionate Friends is an organization dedicated to supporting families who are experiencing the death of a child. Learn more at www.compassionatefriends.org.

Submitted photo