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Worldwide Candle Lighting

Updated on December 9, 2012

Light a Candle for All Children Who Have Died

Every year, since 1997, on the second Sunday in December The Compassionate Friends (TCF) hold a Worldwide Candle Lighting in memory of all children who have died too soon.

On this day people around the world are encouraged to light a candle to so that...Their Light May Always Shine.

This year the fourteenth Worldwide Candle Lighting will be held on December 9, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in all time zones around the globe.

Image Source: The Compassionate Friends. Worldwide Candle Lighting Image.

Remembering Children in Poetry

Poem Excerpt about the Compassionate Friends Candle Lighting

  • Children we remember
  • Though missing from our sight
  • In honor and remembrance
  • We light candles in the night...
  • We will not forget
  • And every year in deep December
  • On Earth we will light candles
  • As we remember
  • Jacqueline Brown

Photo Source: Eli Ratner. Blue Candles. Royalty Free Use.

Worldwide Candle Lighting Video

Learn more about the Worldwide Candle Lighting by watching this YouTube Video from the Compassionate Friends.

What is the Worldwide Candle Lighting


The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting is held at 7:00 p.m. for one hour in every time zone around the world on the second Sunday in December.

As candles go out in one time zone, they are lit in the next creaing a virtual 24-hour memorial of candles that encircles the globe to honor and remember all children who have died.


The Worldwide Candle Lighting is a way of giving bereaved families around the world the chance to share their loss and remember their that their light may always shine.

It is a way to circle the globe in a virtual 24-hour Memorial in memory of children.

Blue Candles

Image: Jozsef Szoke. Blue Lights. Royalty Free Use.

Worldwide Candle Lighting

How Can I Get Involved?

Information for participating in the Worldwide Candle Lighting.

How Can I get involved?

As the dates draw closer to December check The Compassionate Friends website for listings of planned observances.

If you are interested in holding your own candle lighting event you can download guidelines for planning or check on information to hold your own.

Listings of the known planned observances and guidelines for planning and holding your own Worldwide Candle Lighting will be posted as they become available on The Compassionate Friends Website.

...that their light might

always shine

Worldwide Candle Lighting 2008 -Original Logo

Circling the Globe in a Virtual 24-hour Memorial

Memorial Vase and Candle in the Amazon Spotlight

Cathy's Concepts Light Shines Floating Memorial Vase and Candle
Cathy's Concepts Light Shines Floating Memorial Vase and Candle

A beautiful way to remember loved ones a this floating vase and memorial candle

The words engraved on the vase read, ''This light shines as a symbol of lives and loves remembered.''

The Vase measures 7 in high x 3-1/2 in wide


The Worldwide Candle Lighting is thought to be the largest mass candle lighting in the world. Thousands of more events are held around the world informally at home or other special places of remembrance.

The Compassionate Friends Candle Lighting event started in 1997 in the United States as a small Internet observance, but over the last ten years has grown in size and spread around the globe.

The Candle Lighting is a way to commemorate and honor children in an event that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries, because grief knows no boundaries.

Lighting candles for all children who have died.

I will light a candle for you...

Shattering the Darkness with Light

  • To shatter all the darkness
  • And bless the time we know.
  • Like a beacon in the night
  • The flame will burn bright
  • And guide us on our way.
  • Today I light a candle for you.


I will light a candle for you... Magnolia Jazz. on Flickr.

Photo Source: Kathryn McCallum. Blue Star. Royalty Free Use.

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting - More Information about the Event to Remember Children Who Have Died

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting is a way of uniting family and friends around the globe as candles are lit for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause.

About The Compassionate Friends

Assisting Families Following the Death of a Child of Any Age

The Compassionate Friends is a national nonprofit, self-help support organization that offers friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings. Their mission is to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive. There is no religious affiliation and there are no membership dues or fees.

The Compassionate Friends works on the premise that as seasoned grievers reach out to the newly bereaved, energy that has been directed inward begins to flow outward and both are helped to heal.

Image: The Compassionate Friends Logo.

Remembering at Christmas

Image: Jaime Krayger. Sad Christmas In PA. Royalty Free Use.

LED Single Ivory Taper in the Amazon Spotlight

Mr. Light 9" Ivory "Timer" Taper Candle with Flickering Amber LED and Real Brass "Oil Lamp" Design Holder
Mr. Light 9" Ivory "Timer" Taper Candle with Flickering Amber LED and Real Brass "Oil Lamp" Design Holder

This realistic flickering LED gives a flame effect and includes a real solid brass oil lamp style base.

The timer feature allows for 8 hours of continuous operation and automatic turn on at the same time the next night.


Flameless Candles Available on Amazon

A safer option for Vigils...the new flameless candles.

The Compassionate Friends - Home Page - Offering Hope to Bereaved Parents and Families

The Compassionate Friends is a national nonprofit, self-help support organization that offers friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings.

Benefiting Save the Children

This lens benefits Save the Children, the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world.

Have you participated in the Worldwide Candle Lighting before? Do you plan on participating this year?

Be sure to share your comments, rank the site, pass on the word about the site (email) and leave a message (Reader Feedback).

Reader Feedback on the Worldwide Candle Lighting Lens - Your place for comments, messages, suggestions, ideas and feedback

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the lens--well needed and GREAT information!

    • LoKackl profile image


      9 years ago

      The Compassionate Friends made a huge difference in my life when my 16-year-old daughter, Dru, died. Thank you for promoting the worldwide candle lighting ceremony. There are never enough chapters of TCF.

    • PastorKay profile image

      Pastor Kay 

      9 years ago

      Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I was not aware of it. We must always remember them.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thank you for the information. i plan to attend the service in Clearwater Florida to remember my son who died

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      You have done a great job! I came to know about a great celebration.I will celebrate this with my family this year.

      Feel free to visit my lightingeasy blog

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thank you for your ministry. As someone who lost stillborn twins nearly 28 years ago, I know we have a come a very long way in terms of finding ways to help people grieve such a loss. This is a beautiful ritual that lets people they are not alone and offers a meaningful way to articulate their loss.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      10 years ago from Royalton

      Thank you for sharing this great celebration. I just told the kids about it. Because of this lens my family and I will be celebrating this year.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      What you are doing is wonderful. We are adding you to our event calendar at

      so that everyone can see how you are helping to Create The Change in the world.

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image

      JenniferAkers LM 

      11 years ago

      What a wonderful way to commemorate children - in a worldwide embrace and ceremony. Thanks for sharing the info - I'll be sure to watch for this year's Worldwide Candle Lighting in December.


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