Messinger Payson Funeral Home, RTA Hospice and Palliative Care and Rim Country Hospice Foundation invite the public to a "Celebration of Life" at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6 at St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church, located at 511 S. St. Phillips St.
The holidays are a difficult time for families who are experiencing grief. With that in mind, this event was created eight years ago to celebrate the life of each person who has passed away.
The celebration has grown, with more than 200 people attending.
The evening includes a prayer, a special message and candle lighting. A presentation of pictures of loved ones will be held as each name is read and a personalized ornament presented to the family.
The event culminates with a tree-lighting ceremony. The tree begins dark and each person turns on a light bulb in memory of a loved one. As each bulb is activated, the tree becomes illuminated and then fully lighted at the end of the evening.
According to Wendy Wright, an assistant from Messinger Payson Funeral Home and a member of Rim Country Hospice Foundation, this year's ornament is a gorgeous "Guardian Angel Keepsake." The ornament is made of glass and has 22 karat gold on the halo and wings. Each ornament is personalized with a name, birth date and death date. It comes in a gift box for safekeeping.
An ornament is on display at RTA Hospice and Messinger Payson Funeral Home for those who wish to view it prior to purchase.
Family members can purchase an ornament for $12 by contacting RTA Hospice.
A dinner, catered by Cucina Paradiso, will be provided after the program.
Although the Celebration of Life event is free of charge, each person in attendance is requested to bring canned food, which will be given to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank.
To attend the event, or to order a personalized ornament, contact RTA Hospice by Nov. 30, at (928) 472-6340.