On Saturday, November 29, 2014, the faithful from throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, gathered at St. Anthony Shrine, to remember in a very special service the death of their loved one a dear friend who had died. The service was for all who mourn the loss of a family member or friend as the Christmas season can be overwhelming to them. The night gave birth to new beginnings. As in the days of old we would come to the manger of life, as did the infant Jesus, and that night we brought the memory of loved ones to new life.

It is understandable that holidays are family times and, when part of the family has been taken away in death, the holidays seem to emphasize the profound void that is experienced. The service focused on four major themes: Grief, Courage, Memory and Love. Each person lit a candle in memory of their loved one and placed it near the Eternal Light. They were then anointed “Through this holy anointing, may God give you comfort and peace.” They left the church to the song Silent Night, softly sung. Members of the Arch Street Band provided deeply moving and tender music throughout the service.

Here are some photos from the service: