A Northamptonshire hospice is inviting the local community to come together and remember loved ones they have lost at a public ceremony at The Cathedral of Our Lady and St Thomas in Northampton, on Tuesday 13th and Thursday 14th December.
The Tree of Love ceremony is being organised by Cynthia Spencer Hospice and enables individuals to dedicate a single light on a Christmas tree to the memory of a loved one who has passed away. Dedications can be made online but don’t need to be in memory of someone who has visited the hospice. Dedications made before Monday 20th November will be included in a commemorative order of service booklet, available at the services.
During the ceremony, the cathedral lights will be dimmed as the tree lights are lit and those in attendance will come together and enjoy a moment of reflection and celebration. There will also be a school choir, performances from Nene Voices and the Northamptonshire County Youth Brass Band, and readings for guests to enjoy.
The event is being supported by hospice patron Earl Spencer, who will be donating the Christmas tree from the Althorpe Estate and delivering a reading at the ceremony.
Sarah O’Connor, Individual Giving Fundraiser and Finance Lead at Cynthia Spencer Hospice, said: “This event is one of my favourites to facilitate for the hospice. During Covid, the service went online but it just wasn’t the same. To experience that moment when the tree lights come on is truly magical.
“This year we want to encourage as many people as possible to join us and light up a life on our Tree of Love. The ceremony is inclusive, suitable for families and doesn’t focus on loss. It is more about celebrating the people we love and uplifting and supporting each other as we take time to think about the memories and experiences we have enjoyed with them.”
Earl Spencer added: “The Tree of Love ceremony is a beautiful, poignant, service in which to remember loved ones, during the run up to Christmas - that family time of year when it’s natural to remember those close to us who have died. I look forward to taking part once more, in this wonderful celebration of love, with its solemn nod to the bitter pain of family loss.”
The Tree of Love services will take place at The Cathedral of Our Lady and St Thomas in Northampton on Tuesday 12th December and Thursday 14th December from 7.30pm. To find out more and make a dedication, go to https://cynthiaspencer.org.uk/event/tree-of-love-2023.