Each December Hospice Orillia hosts its annual Candles of Remembrance Ceremony where community members gather to honour those who are no longer with us. Traditionally guests were treated to poetry readings, live music, light refreshments plus the opportunity to light a candle in memory of their loved ones.

This year things will look a bit different. Due to the current restrictions in place, the 2020 Candles of Remembrance ceremony will take place virtually.

“While we can not be together in person, we want to ensure that the community has the opportunity to honour their loved ones before the holiday season.” Says Hospice Orillia’s Bereavement Coordinator, Louise Brazier.

“We know that the holiday season can be stressful and it is extra difficult this year with all of the restrictions in place. Those who have lost a loved one would normally surround themselves with friends and family during the holidays. This year is going to look a bit different; we want the community to know they are not alone.”

Community members are invited to submit a photo, along with a sentiment, of their loved ones to be included in this year’s virtual ceremony; which will feature poetry readings, music, candles and submitted memorials. The pre-recorded ceremony will become available to the community via the Hospice Orillia website Thursday, December 10th at 6:30 p.m.

“This year we are thankful that our guests will not be required to drive in the annual snow storm that traditionally comes along with the Candles of Remembrance event.” Brazier said. “We could see this become an event that carries on in the future as it provides everyone the opportunity to participate from the comfort of their own home.”

In past years anywhere between 45-60 individuals attend the ceremony; however based on the increased numbers that were recorded for the virtual Gardens of Remembrance ceremony, it is expected that the number of virtual attendees could more than triple this year.

“With everything that is going on in the world, it is more important than ever for us to come together, even if it is virtually, to take the time to pause and reflect.” she said. “We invite the community to RSVP for the event, submit their memorial photos and join us on December 10th in the comfort of their own home for an evening of reflection, poetry, music and memories.”

For more information this years Candles of Remembrance ceremony, or to RSVP, please visit www.hospiceorillia.ca/candles

For more information on the bereavement services provided through Hospice Orillia please visit www.hospiceorillia.ca or call Louise Brazier at (705) 325-0505 ext. 209

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