LEWISTOWN - The Juniata Valley Chapter of The Compassionate Friends will join in the organization's 12th worldwide candle lighting at 6 p.m. on Dec. 14 at Grove Memorial United Methodist Church in Lewistown.
The purpose of the candle lighting is to bring members of the community together to honor children who have passed away. The event, done annually, is held on the second Sunday in December. During the service, families light candles for one hour. Although the Juniata Valley chapter will begin the candle lighting at 6 p.m., the international candle lighting is held at 7 p.m., said Laura Litwiller, Juniata Valley chapter leader of The Compassionate Friends.
"The death of a child is devastating and it's important to the family that the child always be remembered," Litwiller said. "That's why the members of the Juniata Valley Chapter of The Compassionate Friends will participate in an annual worldwide event designed to honor the memories of all children, regardless of age, who have died."
The event is open to anyone in the community who wants to remember a child. Sometimes, people come every year to remember their child, Litwiller said. Attendees are encouraged to bring a photo of their child, and don't need to participate in regular Compassionate Friends meetings to attend the candle lighting, she said.
Last year, about 53 people showed up to the event. Each year, the number of attendees varies, Litwiller said.
"Families come in large numbers," she added.
IF YOU GO
* What: Juniata Valley Chapter of The Compassionate Friends Candle Lighting
* When: 6 p.m. Dec. 14
* Where: Grove Memorial United Methodist Church, Lewistown
For more information about the Juniata Valley Chapter of The Compassionate Friends, contact Beverly Grening at 436-8136 or Laura Litwiller at 250-5648. For more information about the national organization, call (877) 967-0010.