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Compassionate Friends Plans Annual Candle Lighting
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The death of a child is devastating and it’s important to the family that the child always be remembered. That’s why members of The Compassionate Friends (TCF) of the Modesto-Riverbank Area will participate in an annual worldwide event designed to honor the memories of all children, regardless of age, who have died. The Chapter is joining in Sunday, Dec. 10 with hundreds of organized memorial services around the world for The Compassionate Friends 21st annual Worldwide Candle Lighting, an event now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting in the world.

The local candle lighting will be part of a special service held indoors beginning at 7 p.m. at 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto. The program will feature poems, selected readings, and music. Annually tens of thousands of families, united in loss, light candles for one hour during the Worldwide Candle Lighting, held the second Sunday in December. Candles are first lit at 7 p.m., local time, just west of the International Date Line. As candles burn down in one-time zone, they are lit in the next, creating a 24-hour wave of light as the observance continues around the world.  Candles will be provided to all who attend.

The holiday season is an extremely difficult time of the year for families grieving the death of a child. This marks over two decades the Worldwide Candle Lighting has united bereaved families around the globe as a symbolic way of showing the love they continue to carry for their children, even though they can no longer be with their families physically. This candle lighting transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries as tens of thousands of families share in this worldwide memorial event.

Here, throughout the United States, members of almost 700 chapters of The Compassionate Friends observe this day in differing ways, some alone, some with friends and family, and many in organized candle lighting ceremonies like the service planned by the local chapter, The Compassionate Friends of the Modesto-Riverbank Area. All bereaved parents, grandparents, siblings, family and friends are invited to join in this moving tribute.

With the theme “…that their light may always shine,” the Worldwide Candle Lighting has grown larger every year with formal services last year in all 50 states and Washington D.C., as well as at least 19 countries around the world. TCF’s national website is expected to receive and post information on more than the 550 services submitted to and listed on its website last year. The website will also have open for posts a Remembrance Book on December 10th which, in a 24-hour-period will receive thousands of tributes from family members and other caring individuals.


To contact The Compassionate Friends of the Modesto-Riverbank Area, call (209) 622-6786 or email For more information about the national organization, call 877-969-0010 or visit TCF’s national website,