Tom's Blog

A Simple Candle Lighting Ceremony

Posted by Tom Zuba on November 16, 2012 5 Comments
My friend Lynne shared this Candle Lighting Ceremony with me quite a few years ago.  It is written by Nancy M. Moeller, L.S.W., C.A.D.C, 1993 ©.  It is a simple and beautiful ceremony that I hope you will consider adding to your holiday gatherings.

During the holidays, it is often difficult to find ways to include your loved one in celebrations. A beautiful way to accomplish this may be to create a new tradition by using four candles in a centerpiece - advent wreaths work perfectly - and as you light the candles, read the following words:

As we light these four candles in your honor, we light one for our sadness, one for our memories, one for our determination, and one for our love.

We light this candle for our sadness. The pain of losing you is intense, and the grief we feel is often hard to handle. We want you to know that we miss you so much.

We light this candle for our memories. There is so much we remember - your smile, your laugh - the good times and the bad ones, too - when we were angry and when we were happy - all those times that never could have been lived with anyone but you. We want you to know that we will always remember.

We light this candle for our determination. Knowing you has brought us strength. We are changed because of you. Your life has made a difference in our lives. We want you to know that we will take the energy of your living to help us move forward in our own lives.

We light this candle for our love. The specialness that we shared with you can never be replaced. During this holiday season, our love for you will shine as brightly as this candle. We will pass that love on to others, and as we do, our hearts will smile because of you. We want you to know that we will always love you.

And remember to "Say Their Name" as you gather with family and friends this Holiday Season.   Click here for suggestions.

Additional resources ~

Comments (5 Comments)

Tom, This is a perfect idea! I used it years ago at my TCF Christmas Memorial. It tends to bring everyone there, even a little closer to each other. Thanks for all you do Tom. I am sure you have helped many many people out there who are just beside themselves not knowing what to do to manage thing through the holidays. Now 23 years in my grief journey, I still use some of these same activities. It is even more special when extended family is there to share. Hearing other people say my son’s name is very soothing now. I hope every one has a special day today. I’m thankful for my family and people like you, Tom, who take the time to be so helpful for others. Thanks for being there!

Posted by Carol Soos on November 22, 2012

I like this idea. One candle is to acknowledge our sadness, which is viscerally real. But the following three are all to acknowledge the positive of having our loved one in our lives.

Posted by NancyR on November 22, 2012

I LOVE this ritual. I encourage clients to personalize the ceremony ~ they might come up with other aspects of their grief or loss to “honor” instead of sadness, memories, determination or love. One grandma had each of her 3 grandchildren read a paragraph and she read the final one … she said it was very moving and meaningful.

Posted by Lynne on November 20, 2012

Our beautiful little Blake is still and always will be so fresh in our hearts. He was truly an amazing child and loved by so many! We will light a candle, not only on holiday season but all through the years to follow for all his precious memories, his love,his laughter,his hugs and his one in a million smile along with his spirit which will live in all our hearts forever! God gave all of us our special Blake and God gave Blake an amazing mom and daddy, Their love for him was an example of Gods love forever.

Posted by Betty Seamonson on November 19, 2012

Thanks Tom for sharing, It is just perfect and so amazingly perfect.

Posted by Carol on November 17, 2012

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