The first Christmas after a loved one has passed can be tough for grieving families, but the Victory Memorial Park Funeral Centre tries to bring comfort during the holiday season.
Since 1997, the home has hosted a candlelight vigil in December in memory of those who've passed in the calendar year.
"A lot of them find comfort in coming back to the funeral home where they were last
with their loved ones and celebrated their lives," said Kari Simpson, senior funeral director. "Even people who have lost their loved ones seven years ago, they just come back to honour their loved ones.
"We usually have about 200 to 250 people that attend. We do have a lot of regular families that have been coming back here since we've been open."
Ministers share encouraging stories with the audience and lead them in carols and prayers of remembrance. The candles are lit one by one as the names of those who've passed appear on a screen.
"Toward the end of the service, we have a slideshow and we do all the names from A to Z of all the people we've looked after in that year," said Simpson, adding that about 460 names appear on the slideshow every year.
Following the service, Victory Memorial hosts a reception. Those attending can write the name of their loved one on a tag and hang it on the funeral centre's Christmas tree.
This year's memorial will be held this Thursday at Victory Memorial, located at 14831 28th Ave., starting at 7 p.m.