The annual Remembrance Tree ceremony is set for Sunday, December 8, at 2 p.m. at Chenault Vineyards in Richmond at 2284 Barnes Mill Road.

The 2019 Remembrance Tree ornament, a variety of laser-cut, wooden snowflakes, was created by Berea artist Steve Farmer.

The event is a long-standing tradition for the community, bringing hundreds together on the first Sunday in December for more than 25 years.

The Remembrance Tree ceremony gives the community a chance to remember loved ones during the holiday season by placing a personalized memorial ornament on a remembrance tree. Hospice Care Plus sponsors the event as part of its bereavement program, which provides grief support services to the community.

“Our bereavement program has always recognized that the holidays can be a hard time for people who’ve lost loved ones, even when those losses aren’t recent,” says Chasity Coleman, director of development at Hospice Care Plus. “It’s a time of year when their absence is felt so strongly, yet there isn’t a built-in way to acknowledge that hole they’ve left behind. The Remembrance Tree seems to do that for people. It gives us an outlet for those feelings.”

Each Remembrance Tree service features a unique memorial ornament. The 2019 ornament is a snowflake created by Berea artist Steve Farmer, owner of the Bittersweet Woodworking Studio.

remembrance 1

After an opening prayer and holiday music, the ceremony continues with the reading of memorial names. Guests place their personalized ornament on the Remembrance Tree when they hear their loved one’s name.  If the person who requested the memorial ornament is unable to attend, a Hospice Care Plus staff member will place it on the tree for them.

After the ceremony, the ornaments will be taken to Hospice’s Compassionate Care Center and placed on the Center’s Christmas tree. Guests who wish to take their personalized ornament home with them may do so immediately following the ceremony, or they can claim them at the Compassionate Care Center anytime between December 9 and January 2.

Anyone can request a memorial ornament. There is no fee for ornaments, but a donation–of any size–is encouraged. To request an ornament, visit our secure donation site (be sure to indicate Remembrance Tree and the name on your ornament in the “Memorials, Notifications, Designations” window), call 859-986-1500 or 1-800-806-5492 during business hours, email, or visit the event page on Facebook. Proceeds from the ceremony cover the cost of the ornaments and help fund all programs offered by Hospice Care Plus.

Hospice Care Plus is a non-profit organization serving Estill, Jackson, Lee, Madison, Owsley, and Rockcastle counties. Services include hospice care, palliative care, bereavement outreach, and hospice inpatient care at the Compassionate Care Center.  All services are provided regardless of ability to pay.