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4 Dec 2008, 03:01
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Worldwide Candle Lighting

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting®, held annually the second Sunday in December, this year December 14, unites family and friends around the globe as they light candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time, creating a virtual wave of light, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor the memories of children in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries.

Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the Worldwide Candle Lighting, a gift from TCF to the bereavement community, creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. 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 Worldwide Candle Lighting started in the United States in 1997 as a small Internet observance but has since swelled in numbers as word has spread throughout the world of the remembrance.

The 2007 Worldwide Candle Lighting saw information on services received from 21 countries outside the United States. Joining TCF last year were chapters of several bereavement organizations including MISS, Twinless Twins, MADD, Parents of Murdered Children, and BPUSA and services were held in all 50 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.

A  Remembrance Book is available during the event at TCF's USA national website. In that short one day span, thousands of messages are received and posted each year from every U.S. state and Washington D.C., every territory, as well as dozens of other countries. Some are in foreign languages.

Here in the United States, publicity about the event is widespread, being featured over the years in Dear Abby, Parade Magazine, Ann Landers column, Guideposts magazine, Annie’s Mailbox, and literally hundreds of U.S. newspapers, dozens of television stations, and numerous websites and personal blogs.

Please help spread the word about this tremendous event and invite anyone who is unable to attend a service to light a candle at 7 p.m. for one hour wherever they may be.

If no Worldwide Candle Lighting service was held near you in 2007, please feel free to plan one open to the public this year. As an aid in planning the service, you are welcome to use TCF's "Suggestions to Help Plan Memorial Services in Conjunction with The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting©."  All allied bereavement organizations, churches, funeral homes, hospices and formal and informal bereavement groups are invited to join in the remembrance.  

Press release: (October 2, 2008)  All Invited to Join in Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting to Hono Memories of Children

Press release (November 25, 2008) Hundreds of Services Planned--Worldwide Candle Lighting Unites Bereaved Families

If you are holding a formal service open to the public (whether in the United States or anywhere around the world), please provide the information on the submission link below so that we can post details for those who visit our website and are seeking a Worldwide Candle Lighting event in your area. This also allows us to post a comprehensive listing of known services, here and abroad and to track the growth of this inspiring event.

While we encourage informal services held in homes and other locations, we are sorry but we cannot include these in our listings. Nor can we include any in memory of a specific child or any that are not open to the general public.

Please do not type your event with all capital letters as this will delay the posting! We reserve the right to edit all submissions.

Submit Your Worldwide Candle Lighting Service

Only services held on December 14 will be posted on this website!

View Worldwide Candle Lighting Services

FAQs about The Worldwide Candle Lighting

Media Stories About This Year's Worldwide Candle Lighting



Join us in helping this phenomenal event grow even larger! We do this . . . that their light may always shine!

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