“Remembering Our Children” Service This Sunday

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By Henry Sabbagh

    On Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 7:00 p.m., we will once again unite with our hearts heavy with grief but filled with love and honor.  That is the day St. Alphonsus Church will host its 2nd annual candlelight service, “Remembering Our Children”.

    For those who have never been, it is a wonderful time to honor and celebrate the lives our children had.  The evening begins with special readings, followed by every parent being given the opportunity to walk up and light a candle, saying their child’s name. Then the parents unite all the candles, symbolizing the lives that our children lived: gone, but not forgotten. In the past few years, our community has lost too many young lives; with the continued efforts of our church bringing us together, we the parents have this special day standing side by side sharing the same grief.

    This Christmas will be our 3rd since we lost our beloved son Kareem.  Aside from the usual occurrences of everyday life, there are certain days that we look forward to each year: his birthday, the day he started to walk, the day of his senior graduation-each of these days holds a special meaning to our family. They are milestones in Kareem’s life. There are also those “other” days, the days that present an opportunity for us to put aside the normalcy of our life and take some time just for him.  There are no more Sunday lunches after church, there is no more working on his truck together, there is no more of he and I watching the LSU games, there is no more, there is no more, but we are very much still parents to Kareem.  We rise each morning thanking the Lord for this day and pray for Kareem.  We visit the cemetery on a weekly basis. And here we are looking forward to the day we will hold that candle on Sunday December 12th. 2010.

    Last year’s event was thoroughly enjoyed by my wife and I; we met several parents who had lost children and we are looking forward to gathering with them again.  Several of our son’s friends attended the service as well, God bless them all.  We came to the house of the Lord in fellowship with others to share our sorrow, but to also laugh and love in celebration of the memories left behind.  Praise God, for he is close to those who are suffering. Through God’s grace we have been able to make it through these three years and are still able to carry on.

    For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion according to the greatness of his unfailing love."

Lamentations 3:31-32

    If you’ve lost a child, or you know someone who had, please come and join us on Sunday December 12th. Or contact St. Alphonsus church office for more details: (225) 261-4650.

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