Honor the passing of a loved one during the holidays by celebrating their life.
Messinger Payson Funeral Home, RTA Hospice & Palliative Care and Rim Country Hospice Foundation invite the public to a "Celebration of Life" at 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 9 at St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church.
According to RTA's Kathleen Hughes, the event's purpose is to celebrate life.
"It's a really nice way to start the holidays," Hughes said. "It is an annual event we have been doing for the past seven years. Last year, we had more than 200 people attend."
Hughes said the evening begins with prayers and remembrances. Throughout the evening candles will be lit, messages read, and the departed remembered with a slideshow of photographs, and an accompanied name reading. The event culminates with a tree-lighting ceremony.
Hughes said lighting of the tree is the most moving part of the evening.
"We start the Christmas tree totally dark and we have each person turn on a light in memory of a loved one," Hughes said. "By the time we are done, the tree is totally illuminated -- it is really quite beautiful and powerful."
Music and a full-course dinner provided by Cucina Paradiso follow.
Family members can purchase personalized ornaments for posterity.
Although the Celebration of Life event is free, a $10 donation is requested for the ornament, Hughes said.
"We do request that each person who comes brings a can of food which will be given to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank," Hughes said. "Also, if someone cannot drive, we will provide transportation."
Anyone interested in attending should respond by Nov. 30.
For more information on the event or to order a personalized ornament, call RTA Hospice at (928) 472-6340.