Loved Ones Remembered at Candle Ceremony

Sue Girardi lit several candles, including the one in memory of her brother, Bradley Younkins, who passed away earlier this year. She has been a member of the GriefShare support group this past Autumn. 

A group of mourners gathered at the Worthington Presbyterian Church to remember their loved ones.

Hester Shick said this gathering has been held at Christmas time over the past five years.

“We remember those that we love who have died with a candle-lighting service in memorial of our loved one. Christmas is the birth about God’s Son. But the hustle and bustle of the holiday is very difficult to handle when you are grieving. So we come together in a service of worship and fellowship. Then we light a candle and share a memory of our loved one and we comfort one another.”

Shick said that the annual candle-lighting service has given birth to a group called GriefShare, who meet for multiple sessions at various times throughout the year.

Sue Girardi of Kittanning Township lit a candle for her father, William C. Younkins, who passed away 12 years ago, and her brother, Bradley William Younkins, who passed away with leukemia on April 19, 2017.  She shared the difficulty she had accepting her brother’s death.

“When my brother passed away, it was really difficult for me. I happened to read in the Kittanning Paper about this group. They spiritually helped me so much. I really needed help understanding what had happened to my brother at such a young age, and then learning through the Bible how to try to help yourself get past this tragic time.”

Shick pointed out that as they light a candelabra consisting of five candles, one represents grief, one is for courage, one for memory, one for love, and the final one for hope. Following the lighting of the candelabra, then each individual lit their personal candle in remembrance of their loved one.

The group sang Silent Night just before the benediction.

Shick said the next GriefShare support group will begin in mid-February. She encouraged those who have experienced the loss of a loved one recently to consider joining the group. For more information, call the church office at 724-297-3820.