La Croix United Methodist Church will host a special candle-lighting service at 7 p.m. Sunday to remember children who have passed away.
"It's a way for us to remember the children and provide comfort for their parents," said the Rev. Ron Watts, pastor of La Croix.
The Rev. Watts said five families at La Croix have lost a child recently, which led to the church's Grief Support Program.
"The idea to take part in the candle-lighting service grew out of that," he said.
Linda Logan and Ginger Anderson are facilitators of the program. Logan said it will be La Croix's first time to take part in a candle-lighting service.
"The candle lighting started 16-years ago by a group called The Compassionate Friends," she said. "It's a nationwide organization that offers counseling and support for parents who have lost a child. Through their efforts, lighting a candle in memory of a child has spread not only across the country but also around the world."
There are expected to be more than 500 services in the United States. Observances will take place in 19 other countries.
At La Croix, the service will consist of scripture readings, songs and the reading of the names of children who have passed away.
Logan isn't sure how many people will attend the service, but she said it's open to parents and family members who feel they need to come.
"This is being done to honor and remember children who have died," she said. "The age of the child doesn't matter, and if there are parents who simply can't attend Sunday night, we encourage them to light a candle in their home."
Anderson said the service is a way to offer hope to parents who are struggling with the loss of a child.
"That kind of loss is really different from other forms of loss," she said. "But with the service being worldwide, it can provide parents with a connection to others who are also grieving. They are not alone."
3102 Lexington Ave., Cape Girardeau, Mo.