Through the years of doing our Service of Remembrance I have learned many lessons. Here are a few:
- Even if it look like the candles fit perfectly in the holders use the little wax dots for security. One year I forgot those and the candles started to lean! We were afraid the church might burn down.
- If you want people to join in singing, have the words to the song printed somewhere. Back in 2005, I forgot to print the words to the “Light a Candle” on the program. When it came time for everyone to sing no one had the words! That year it was just a soloist and me singing and I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. I make sure the words are always there.
- It doesn’t have to be perfect! I strive for perfection. I want everything a certain way or at least I used to be that way. For many years I had to have everything coordinated-the candles, the flowers, the dishes, even what we wore. This year I am being frugal and using an assortment of leftovers. I didn’t even buy a new outfit! Do you think anyone will notice?
It is a special day. You would think that after 17 years it would be easier. In some ways it is. Yet it is always emotional. I am still overwhelmed seeing the faces of the families we have served. I am always touched that they have taken time to come. I am often surprised by who comes and who doesn’t. I wish more would come. A couple of years into this tradition my husband said, “If only one family comes and it is meaningful to them, we will have the service.” I hope we can continue to do so until we are one of the candles lighted.
And I will light a candle for you,
shatter all the darkness
and bless the times we knew.
Like a beacon in the night
the flame will burn bright
and guide us on our way.
Oh today I light a candle for you.