Tree of Light ceremony Thursday

The Visiting Nurse Services of Connecticut will host the 23rd annual Tree of Light ceremonies in 11 communities throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties on Thursday, Dec. 12.

The traditional community gatherings began in 1991 as friends and families of hospice patients cared for by VNS came together to remember their departed loved ones at a community tree lighting ceremony on a town green.

This year, nearly 1,000 residents will participate in the 11 tree lighting ceremonies and have the names of their departed family members and friends read during commemoration ceremonies. The ceremonies are non-denominational and the public is invited.

The Milford Tree of Light Program will be held at the Mayor's Office Parkette, 110 River Street, at 6:30 p.m. Each Tree of Light ceremony will include a memorial roll reading of the names of the departed, music and a brief inspirational reading, tree lighting and a hosted reception.

Tina Bernacki, director of Hospice Services at VNS, said that many families “celebrate the spirit and memory of their departed loved ones by having a memorial light on their community's tree, knowing that these lights are an opportunity to help those who may be in need of compassionate nursing and hospice care in the next year.”