|November 20, 2017 • VOL. 55, NO. 20 • Oakland, CA|
Catholic Cemeteries Remembrance Tree Celebrations
The holidays can be a very difficult time when we are grieving a loved one. It's important for those who are grieving to give themselves time and space to heal during this hectic season. Perhaps this year you may decide to cut down on the Christmas cards or gifts and take a break from some traditions that may be overwhelming for you in the face of your loss, and that's OK. Many families find it helpful during holiday celebrations to consider new traditions or to find ways to incorporate remembering and honoring their loved one who has died.
Holy Cross Cemetery, 2200 E. 18th St. Antioch, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 1. The Remembrance Tree is decorated with people's prayers and thoughts for their loved one throughout the holiday season. Join us for a prayer service in our Chapel at 6:30 p.m. to bless the tree, followed by the lighting and light refreshments.
Queen of Heaven, 1965 Reliez Valley Road, Lafayette, after the First Saturday 11 a.m. Mass Dec. 2. Families are invited to create ornaments in memory of their loved ones. Ornaments can be taken home for your own tree or used to decorate ours. Enjoy Christmas carols, holiday treats and hot chocolate.
St. Joseph Cemetery, 2540 Church Lane, San Pablo, after the First Saturday Mass at 11 a.m. Dec. 2. One of the local priests comes out and blesses the tree, the Children's Choir from St Paul School will sing while the tree lights are turned on. All children who are in attendance will then have the opportunity to write a prayer, verse or message on a strip of colored paper to be placed in a clear Christmas ball and then hang it on the tree. Families will then move to our reception room for refreshments. The principal from St Paul School will have a craft area set up where she will help children make Christmas decorations.
Sorensen's Chapel, 1140 B St., Hayward, at 4 p.m. Dec. 2. Sorensen Chapel hosts a Night of Remembrance. The evening begins with a prayer service led by one of the local priests, during the service pictures of loved ones of those in attendance projected. Then we decorate the Remembrance Tree with ornaments that also have a picture of a loved one on them. Each attendee will receive one of these ornaments for their own tree. After the service, there is a home-cooked, buffet style dinner reception. RSVPs are required. Contact Tom Luzod at 510-581-1234.
Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 1051 Harder Road, Hayward. The service will begin in St. Michael's Chapel at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7. A choir will perform as the tree is lit. Families will be invited to create ornaments in memory of their loved ones, ornaments can be taken home for your own tree or used to decorate ours. Light refreshments and custom-made stockings stuffed with goodies and toys for the children. Ornaments left to hang on our tree may be picked up on Jan. 3.
(Kate Neal is outreach manager for Catholic Funeral and Cemetery Services, Oakland.)
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