Candle Lighting Service and Prayer for National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month
For every individual diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, an entire family is affected. Today, we light candles to honor the journey of all who are affected by Alzheimer’s Disease.
We light One Candle for our Love,
One Candle for our Memories,
One Candle for our Grief,
One Candle for our Courage, and
One Candle for our Hope.
This light is the light of LOVE.
As we enter this season of remembrance, day-by-day we cherish the special place in our hearts that is always reserved for you.
We thank you for the way you have lived and for the wonderful gifts your living has brought to each of us, we love you.
This light is for our MEMORIES.
We will always remember the times we laughed, the times we cried, the funny things we did together and even some of the angry times. We will never forget the big moments that changed our lives together or the tiny precious moments that sometimes defined us even more. The joy and sorrows we share – the caring we give to each other – the memories we will always cherish.
This candle represents our GRIEF.
We are grieving the changes in our lives over which we have no control. This disease is stealing away that which we cherish most. And, while we know that in time our grief may heal and transform us, the pain of loss is intense. It reminds us of the depth of our love for you.
This candle represents COURAGE.
Today and everyday we need courage to face our sorrow – to comfort each other – to strive for dignity – and wholeness - and to nurture the strength and resilience to accept, to adjust, and to search for new ways to live with our present realities – and in spite of this terrible thing we don’t deserve – to go forward each day with courage, grace, and love.
We light this candle to represent HOPE.
How do we speak of hope in the face of something as devastating as Alzheimer’s Disease? In the most concrete sense, we find hope in the realization that every day brings us closer to newer and better treatments, and that every great break-through is achieved by someone who refuses to give up hope.
But there is also hope to be found in the living of each day of this difficult journey: In realization that every single day is a precious gift. In the serendipity of unexpected joys intermingled with our sorrows. In the discovery of strength and creativity we never knew we had. In wondrous blessings bestowed upon us by others. In the beauty of the simple act of doing our best each day to fight the good fight. And in knowing that as we struggle, each in our own way, we are leaving our mark upon the world – a legacy never to be duplicated. And so we choose to live courageously and ridiculously with hope. And in so doing our spirits are ennobled and we banish despair.
THE PASSING OF THE LIGHT
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease is given and poignant questions arise, among them: Who will share this journey with me?
Every person here is affected by Alzheimer’s Disease – those who have Alzheimer’s, those who are the family and friends, and those who provide services. Each has many gifts and graces to offer a fellow traveler.
So let us now pass this light among us to represent our steadfast commitment to honor the journey of all who are affected by Alzheimer’s Disease.
Please read with me as we make these promises to each other:
Leader and audience recite together:
We will be warmed by the power of your love.
We will honor and cherish your memories.
We will bear witness to your grief.
We will draw inspiration from your courage.
And seeing your hope, we too will take hope, against despair.
Together, we will share this journey.
The Light is passed through the audience, followed by a closing prayer.
For the many persons who have died from Alzheimer's Disease, we pray that they are in the care of your loving arms.
For those who are now Alzheimer's Disease patients, we pray for their dignity and comfort.
For those who are caregivers, we pray for understanding, compassion and patience.
For families touched by Alzheimer's Disease, we pray for strength and courage.
For those who seek the cause, cure, prevention, and treatment of Alzheimer's Disease, we pray for your wisdom, guidance, and direction.
What a solace it is to know that You know our heartaches and our frustrations, our joys at those moments of clarity and recognition, and our anticipation of medical discoveries. But, most importantly, each of us receives peace from awareness that Your eye is on us and that it is Your hand that gently soothes us and is extended to uplift us.
For being our refuge and for the Hope You have given us...Our Thanks.
With permission from Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama, www.alzca.org.