This is a reprint of the Advent Calendar post written for December 22, 2009.
The luminaries at David's Cemetery
Today's post is a response to the Geneabloggers.com Advent Calendar prompt which asks, Christmas and Deceased Relatives
Did your family visit the cemetery at Christmas? How did your family honor deceased family members at Christmas?
When I was a child, I don't remember visiting the cemetery at Christmas. We usually took my grandmother to place flowers on the gravesite of my great grandmother around Memorial Day, but for the most part, the only time I stepped foot into any cemetery was for a funeral service. I guess most people don't enjoy being in one unless they absolutley have to. Up until a few years ago, I had no idea how many of my ancestors burial places are located in David's Cemetery in Kettering. Once I began my research, I "found" them and I have been visting them regularly ever since.
But, Christmastime visits became more important after my grandparents passed away and especially after my father went home to Heaven almost 17 years ago. The cemetery provides the service of allowing the purchase of Christmas wreaths that are placed on the gravesites on December 1st. A few years ago, they began the practice of placing over 4,000 luminaries throughout the cemetery grounds on Christmas Eve. They begin at 5:00 pm and are kept lit until midnight, weather permitting. I can't tell you how beautiful it is or what an incredibly peaceful feeling it gives me to go to the cemetery on that night. It's not that I believe that my loved ones remain in the cemetery, but being there gives me the freedom to stop and remember and shed a few tears as I think about all the wonderful Christmases I spent with them.