Remembrance Tree Ceremony 2020 to be Hosted as Virtual Event

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One of the community’s most beloved holiday traditions is the annual Remembrance Tree Ceremony, with hundreds participating each year for more than 25 years. The 2020 ceremony will be hosted live and virtually on Sunday, December 6th at 2 p.m.  

The event will be live streamed on the Hospice Care Plus Facebook page. A Facebook account is not required to participate. To participate, request a memorial ornament at hospicecareplus.org or 859-986-1500, then visit facebook.com/hospicecp at 2 p.m. on December 6th.  

Anyone can request a memorial ornament. There is no fee for ornaments, but a donation of any size is encouraged. Proceeds from the ceremony cover the cost of the ornaments and help fund all programs offered by Hospice Care Plus.  

The Remembrance Tree ceremony gives the community a chance to remember loved ones during the holiday season by placing a personalized memorial ornament on a remembrance tree. Hospice Care Plus sponsors the event as part of its bereavement program, which provides grief support services to the community. Although this year’s event must be virtual to comply with COVID guidelines, the program and purpose remain the same.  

“We recognize that the holidays are a difficult time for those who have lost loved ones, even if the losses are not recent,” says Hospice Care Plus CEO Scott Thompson. “I hope the Remembrance Tree tradition will allow people to memorialize those loved ones and acknowledge and respect their absence.”   

Lisa Knicely, who leads Hospice’s bereavement program, believes the COVID-19 pandemic may make grief during the holidays even more pronounced.  

“A lot of people who’ve had a loss this year had to go through it without the typical supports. They may not have had the chance to mourn together with family and friends, or to participate in the rituals that help us have closure and say goodbye. It’s possible that will make the holidays more challenging this year. The Remembrance Tree, as a ritual and a ceremony, can help.”  

Many families save and collect each Remembrance Tree ornament. The 2020 ornament is a round, transparent disk featuring a winter scene with a cardinal, and includes the saying, “I am always with you.”  

The live-streamed ceremony will begin with an opening prayer and holiday music and continue with the reading of memorial names. Hospice Care Plus staff will place memorial ornaments on the Remembrance Tree as the names are read. Guests who participate virtually are invited to use Facebook comments to type their loved one’s name as it is read or to share a favorite memory.  

Guests may claim their ornaments on one of four dates in December. The pick-up will take place outdoors on Dec. 7 and 8, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Compassionate Care Center, and Dec. 10 and 11, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Hospice’s Berea office.  

For questions, contact Hospice Care Plus at 859-986-1500 or hospice@hospicecp.org.