Remembrance service for people dealing with loss

Published 5:50 pm Friday, November 19, 2010

First Presbyterian Church in Buchanan will again be holding a special service of remembrance Sunday at 10:30 a.m. for those who have lost loved ones.

The service will feature a sermon on how to handle grief during the holidays, as well as a candlelight vigil to honor and remember lost loved ones.

The service isn’t just for those whose loss is recent, according to the Rev. Patricia Ramsden.

β€œIt is also for those whose loss may have occurred years ago,” Ramsden said. “Too many people assume that grief comes in stages and that there is some timetable that says you should be over it by now.”

Rather than looking at grief in terms of stages, Ramsden said it’s more like “waves.”

“The sea can be calm and suddenly a wave comes in β€” a familiar song on the radio or ornament, and all the memories are as fresh as they were before,” Ramsden said. “The trick is to honor the past while staying focused on the present and the future as well.”

The service will focus on how faith can help deal with grief.

“It reminds us that God is with us, loving us and strengthening us, through both the joys and sorrows of life,” Ramsden said.

In addition to the sermon and candle-lighting, special litanies will be read.

This is the third year First Presbyterian Church will offer the service.

“We saw a need in the community,” Ramsden said. “We try as much as possible as a congregation to reach out with different kinds of services.”

In the past the congregation has had Thanksgiving services honoring veterans and appreciation Sundays for first responders.

The church is located at 115 West Front St.