Candlelit vigil for bereaved families

A candlelit vigil to remember children of any age who have died will be held in St Machar’s Cathedral, Old Aberdeen, on Sunday (December 13).

The service, led by Reverend Dr Easter Smart, Chaplain to the University of Aberdeen, is one of many which will be held for grieving parents around the world.

The gatheringwill offer time for quiet contemplation, music, readings, the lighting of candles and the reading out of names of those to be honoured and remembered. 

It is open to anyone who has lost a child or who wishes to support bereaved families.   

The Vigil was started by Compassionate Friends (, a website community which supports grieving parents.

Candles will be lit at 7pm local time around the world, creating a virtual wave of light. As candles are blown out at 8pm, others grieving in the next time zone will light their candles to honour lost loved ones.

Reverend Easter Smart said: “The initiative for this service came from a few grieving parents who wanted to light candles for their children along with others grieving children lost. 

“Causes of death are many but the importance of this event is to welcome others and build solidarity at what is already a challengingly difficult time of year for many families for whom the absence of their loved one is always present. 

“St Machar’s Cathedral is a suitably ancient sacred space to hold this vigil and there are no barriers to anyone who wants to come.  The vigil is open to all families who have lost children of any age who want to come and appreciate the peace and company of fellow friends who are grieving.”

The Service at St Machar’s Cathedral, in the Chanonry, Old Aberdeen will begin at 7pm on Sunday December 13.

Owing to an earlier evening service, entrance to the Cathedral is from 6.50pm. Refreshments will be served in the Gatehouse at St Machar’s Cathedral following the service.