The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting on the 2nd Sunday in December unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor the memories of the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and grandchildren who left too soon. As candles are lit on December 10th, 2023 at 7:00 pm local time, hundreds of thousands of people commemorate and honor the memory of all children gone too soon.
Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the annual Worldwide Candle Lighting (WCL), a gift to the bereavement community from The Compassionate Friends, creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. TCF’s WCL started in the United States in 1997 as a small internet observance and has since swelled in numbers as word has spread throughout the world of the remembrance. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held, and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes, as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died and will never be forgotten.
IMPORTANT: If you attempt to submit your candle lighting service and we do not contact you or your service is not listed within 48 hours, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also will be holding a virtual candle lighting for those who would prefer to attend virtually. We will have four programs in the
Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific time zones.
Register below for your time zone.
Every year you are invited to post a message in the Remembrance Book which will be available, during the event, at TCF’s national website. The Remembrance Book will be open to post a message Thursday, December 1st, through Friday, December 16th. Photos can be posted on our Worldwide Candle Lighting Facebook page.
The Compassionate Friends and allied organizations are joined by local bereavement groups, churches, funeral homes, hospitals, hospices, children’s gardens, schools, cemeteries, and community centers. Services have ranged in size from just a few people to nearly a thousand.