Community invited to Dove Tree ceremony of remembrance Nov. 28

The holiday season is generally a time of gathering and happiness. It can also be a time of great sadness, mourning those who are no longer present to celebrate. Since 2003, Hospice of Wrangell has offered the Dove Tree and Dove Tree ceremony as a way to remember lost loved ones.

This year’s ceremony is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, in the Nolan Center lobby. The community is invited for readings, a homily by the Rev. Suellen Bahleda of Island of Faith Lutheran Church, and special music by Cindy Martin, Sarah Scambler, Bonnie Demerjian and Alice Rooney.

As part of the ceremony, paper doves, each bearing the name of a deceased loved one, are placed on the Dove Tree. Names of those in our community who have died this past year are read aloud, along with other names listed by those present.

The Dove Tree remains up in the Nolan Center throughout the holiday season as part of the Christmas Tree Lane display. Anyone may add doves to the tree during this time.

The Dove Tree ceremony was started in Wrangell in 2003 by nurse Trudy Johnson to provide some comfort following traumatic deaths earlier in the year. Every year since then, Hospice has organized the simple ceremony. The current tree was donated by the late Dr. Harriet Schirmer, a founding member of the group. Members of many faith communities have participated over the years.

In 2020 the ceremony, with the support of KSTK, was held over the radio and the tree was set up outdoors in the downtown pavilion.

Hospice of Wrangell is a volunteer organization, a nonprofit charity, operating a community loan closet of durable medical equipment and publishing the Wrangell Senior Resource Directory and Final Arrangements booklets. The organization works to provide visits and practical support to those in need, and coordinate with the Stikine Stitchers to give out handmade “Comfort Quilts.”

Alice Rooney


Reader Comments(0)