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Custodes or their representatives from the 14 parishes observe a moment of reflection after lighting candles in memory of persons who have died in communities across the country due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Occasion was a special virtual ceremony at the St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church in Vineyard Town, St. Andrew, on August 4. The ceremony was hosted by the National Chorale of Jamaica.
Photo: Michael Sloley

A special virtual memorial service and candle-lighting ceremony to honour lives lost due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was hosted by the National Chorale of Jamaica on August 4.

The ceremony was held at the St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church in Vineyard Town, St. Andrew under the theme ‘Celebrating the Resilience and Unity of the Human Spirit’.

The programme consisted of readings and musical selections from members of the National Chorale of Jamaica, as well as students from the Central Branch, Excelsior, and Jessie Ripoll Primary schools.

Custos of St. Thomas, Marcia Bennett, who represented Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, lit a candle for the world.

Custodes or their representatives from the 14 parishes also lit candles in memory of persons who died in communities across the country.

Member of the National Chorale and Political Ombudsman, Donna Parchment Brown, said that the lighting of candles is an important symbol used as tribute in memory and reflection of those who have passed away and “as we serve God”.

“One candle will be lit for each parish and one for the world. We know many families were unable to hold funerals in a timely way and were often without the support of their communities, and by this memorial we express our support,” she noted.

Mrs. Parchment Brown  said the Chorale believes that music, prayer and readings can be sources of respect, Godly comfort and fellowship.

“It is our fervent hope that the dearly departed from Jamaica and beyond will rest in peace. We pray that all those who have lost loved ones, who have been ill or otherwise affected by COVID-19, will move forward positively,” she added.

The National Chorale of Jamaica was founded in 1972 to promote, maintain and conduct a group to perform chorale music at the highest level of excellence and to bridge the gap in musical presentation in Jamaica.

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