Belfast Cathedral provided a fitting setting for an emotional and uplifting ceremony, Light Up the Night -An Occasion to Remember,’ organised by Funeral Partners NI and Cruse Bereavement Support NI.
The ceremony was designed to honour and remember those who passed away in recent years, providing a source of comfort and support for families during the Christmas season which, can be an especially difficult period associated with loss.
Hosted by the Very Rev Stephen Forde, the service unfolded with families having the opportunity to place tokens on remembrance trees in honour of their departed loved ones. These trees will stand within the Cathedral until Christmas Day, serving as a collective symbol of remembrance.
Featuring moving music from the Cathedral Choir and a solo harpist, poignant readings, and poetry. A moment of silence was also included and representatives from various traditions lead prayers, emphasising unity and shared compassion.
Speaking at the event, the Very Rev Stephen Forde expressed, “We trust you will find some comfort in the words and music you will hear today and in coming together with others who find themselves in similar circumstances to yours.”
James Brown of James Brown & Sons said: “We stand alongside our communities with compassion, having witnessed the profound impact of loss over the years. This event offers uniquemoments of solace, bringing a collective embrace to those travelling onthe difficult journey of grief. Through Funeral Partners support, we have been able to create an environment which will hopefully bring some healing to those who are experiencing loss. It is excellent that Cruse Bereavement Support are key partners with us, their much-needed service and support will no doubt benefit those experiencing grief in the days ahead.”
Teams from funeral homes across the Funeral Partners network were on hand to help with the event to chat and Cruse volunteers were able to offer bereavement support. Several attendees expressed their thanks for being invited to the ceremony which they commented had lifted their spirits and allowed some time out of their busy lives to reflect and remember those that they had lost.