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O Holy Night helps in a time of loss

Cecilia Nasmith

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today


For those who have experienced the loss of a loved one or family member, the festive holiday season can be a difficult time to get through.

A quiet evening to remember and celebrate the lives and memories of those who have been lost comes on Dec. 7, as St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in Port Hope hosts its third annual O Holy Night service.

Supported by Allison Funeral Home and Ross Funeral Chapel, it will be a time of reflection with music and carols by the church's St. Cecilia Singers.

This is an award-winning group who not only sing but play the hand chimes, Rev. Dr. Doug Brown said. It's a very skilled ensemble of girls aged 13 and up, and they will be competing in Toronto in the new year.

Brown is also pleased that John Kennedy Saynor can be part of the service.

A retired priest of the Anglican Church of Canada, a licensed funeral director and author, Saynor is the founder of Genesis Bereavement Resources. Based in Cobourg, Genesis offers support and encouragement to those who are bereaved through both services and a library of resource materials.

Saynor's presentation, called Facing the Holidays Together, will include practical and meaningful suggestions about how to deal with the holiday season.

Brown has found this kind of seasonal service is helpful, both to those suffering a recent loss and to those still struggling years later.

“People find it helpful to come back year after year,” he said.

“It's all about remembering and celebrating and helping people get through the holidays.”

St. Paul's is located at 131 Walton St., Port Hope, and everyone is welcome.