Memorial Candles

Written by Shirley Parker
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Memorial candles are a deep tradition in our world. In most cases, cultures remember their departed in various meaningful ways, including lighting beautiful and sweet scented candles on the anniversary of a death. Certainly, exceptions exist, but most of us have experienced the passing of someone whom we'd like to remember on momentous life occasions.

Memorial candles are often lit in churches that allow them. During memorial observances, members of the congregation may come forward and light a candle in memory of a special loved one who has departed this world. Each light represents an individual soul who has gone ahead to a better world.

In addition, this type of ceremony is often included in non-sectarian weddings or receptions to show that the relatives who have passed on are still very much a part of the family. In these instances, the memorial candles can be printed with the person's name by an engraving company. Some people even place candles in a symbolic place among the bridesmaids or groomsmen, to represent someone who would have been in the wedding party.

Memorial Candles in a Time of Greater Sorrow

In times of great tragedy, outdoor memorial services are held near the location of the disaster. These nearly always include the burning of candles. The Compassionate Friends originated an annual Worldwide Candle Lighting that takes place at 7 p.m. in every time zone every second Sunday in December. Its purpose is to remember all the children who have died. Other remembrances include online candles still lit in honor of Princess Diana, the Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia astronauts, and others whose lives were cut short before their time.

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