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Jansen Hospice, Palliative Care Hosts Celebration Of Lights Ceremony

Janice Hospice hosted a celebration of lights with candles lit to commemorate family members and friends who have died.
Janice Hospice hosted a celebration of lights with candles lit to commemorate family members and friends who have died. Photo Credit: Contributed

SCARSDALE, N.Y. -- Jansen Hospice and Palliative Care recently welcomed family members with a personal connection to Jansen to their annual Celebration of Lights ceremony.

It was an evening in December of remembrance and restoration for all those grieving the loss of loved ones. The poignant, non-denominational service was hosted at the Reformed Church of Bronxville, and officiated by local clergy members, including the Rev. Gus Badgley of St. Joseph’s Church in Bronxville, Nehemiah Luckett of Asbury Methodist Church in Crestwood, the Rev. Cari Patterson of the Reformed Church in Bronxville, and Chaplain Suzanne Graham of Jansen Hospice in Scarsdale.

Luckett performed Jonathan Larson’s “Seasons of Love,” a song with lyrics that invite retrospection and call for the celebration of life.

Patterson extended comforting sentiments in a heartwarming homily that drew on her background as hospital and nursing home chaplain, as well as her personal experience coping with death and loss.

She referred to hospice care in a special way, calling it “a gift” that alleviates worry so friends and family can devote themselves to their beloved and have “meaningful conversation” - something invaluable as hospice patients near the end of their lives, and so often offer advice that “illuminates a path” and “shines light” on how to move forward once they are gone.

“Though your husband, your wife, your mom, your dad, your grandparent, your co-worker, your friend, maybe even your child—is no longer with you in bodily form, their flame has not gone out, nor has their spirit,” said Patterson, toward the end of her homily.

Family members lit candles in celebration of the person they loved and lost. After the ceremony, family members enjoyed refreshments and mingled.

The night’s theme of looking forward and celebrating life offered encouragement, hope and healing.

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