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Worldwide Candle Lighting Ceremony

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting® is held the second Sunday of December at 7:00 p.m. for one hour local time around the globe. It commemorates and honors children, siblings, and grandchildren of all ages who have died from any cause and transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries. The Worldwide Candle Lighting gives bereaved families everywhere the opportunity to remember their children so "...that their light may always shine! "


Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, this annual Worldwide Candle Lighting, a gift to the bereavement community from The Compassionate Friends, creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. TCF's WCL 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. 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 Oneonta Chapter of TCF has been holding a candle lighting ceremony in Oneonta, NY annually since 1996.

The Compassionate Friends and allied organizations are joined by local bereavement groups, churches, funeral homes, hospitals, hospices, children's gardens, schools, cemeteries, and community centers. Services have ranged in size from just a few people to nearly a thousand.


Every year you are invited to post a message in the Remembrance Book which will be available, during the event, at TCF's national website.


All allied bereavement organizations, churches, funeral homes, hospices, and formal and informal bereavement groups are invited to join in the remembrance each year.

Red Christmas Wreath
2023 Ornament.jpeg

                          Each year, Endicott, NY artist, David Geer creates an original                              hand-painted ornament. These are presented as gifts to each                            family who attends the Worldwide Candle Lighting. 

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