Families honor deceased loved ones at Behm family funeral home remembrance service – News-Herald

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Behm Family Funeral Home in Madison once again hosted its annual community candle lighting and memorial service on November 22, inviting locals to spend time together in honor of their deceased loved ones.

Held annually on the Monday before Thanksgiving, this service saw around 200 community members gather outside on a cold late fall evening to light remembrance candles, sing together, and listen to a message of hope presented. by Deacon Kenneth Meade of Immaculate Conception Church in Madison.

Everyone in attendance was also encouraged to hang an ornament in memory of a loved one on the traditional evergreen tree at Behm Funeral Home, which is located just outside the main entrance. The tree, now filled with ornaments, will stay lit until the end of December.

Trevor Behm, president of Behm Family Funeral Homes, said several of his family started the event 22 years ago as a way to give people extra support and connection during the holidays, which may be the period. most difficult of the year for the bereaved.

“My two aunts started it as a way to provide community support to people while on vacation,” Behm said. “We were always asked about this – it seemed like people needed more help while on vacation, so we were able to start this program. They continued it for over 10 years, and I have continued for a dozen years.

As is tradition in the service of remembrance, attendees were able to decorate the evergreen tree that stands outside the Behm Family Funeral Home in Madison. The tree typically contains 200-300 ornaments each year, each in honor of a deceased loved one. (Sheena Holland Dolan – The News-Herald)

Like many community events, the candlelight service had to be altered last year for additional safety precautions due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but it was never canceled. For this year’s service, Behm said they have consistently refrained from offering a reception with food and refreshments after the service, which was standard practice, although he hopes to bring that aspect back to the over the next two years.

However, funeral home staff were still using Facebook Live. to broadcast this year’s event, so that anyone who was unable to attend the service could log in from home. Behm said that since the start of the pandemic, they have also often webcast regular funeral services to make sure family and friends can watch the service if they cannot come.

“We are constantly evolving,” he said.

Behm said rain or shine, the event has grown steadily over the years – and since COVID-19 precautions have prevented many families from hosting traditional funeral services for loved ones over the past year. and a half, the candlelight ceremony offers them an alternative.

“Since COVID, many families have not been able to reunite, and they have suspended their services until the summer – or with travel restrictions, they have worried about this and the safety of their families,” did he declare. . “So the families were waiting for funeral services. We see a lot of people who haven’t been able to have services this year who also come by candlelight, because they haven’t had a chance to remember that person.

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