VNS Tree of Light marks silver anniversary of commemorating deceased loved ones

For the 25th consecutive year, hundreds of state residents will gather on Dec. 10 at ceremonies in 11 southern Connecticut cities and towns to remember departed loved ones as part of the Tree of Light program hosted by Visiting Nurse Services of Connecticut.

The traditional community gatherings began in 1991 as friends and families of hospice patients cared for by VNS came together to honor the memory of their loved ones at a community tree lighting ceremony on a town green. This year, some 1,000 residents will have the names of their departed family members and friends read during the non-denominational ceremonies which are open to the public.

Tree of Light ceremonies are planned for Bridgeport, Fairfield, Easton, Huntington/Shelton, Milford, Monroe, Oxford, Southport, Stratford, Trumbull and Westport. Each Tree of Light ceremony will include a memorial roll reading of the names of the deceased, music, a brief inspirational reading, tree lighting and a reception afterwards.

Many families mark the occasion by contributing a symbolic memorial light to their community’s Tree of Light, These contributions benefit VNS’ Hospice at Home program and enable VNS to provide compassionate care and comfort for individual families in need. The memorial green, blue, and white lights symbolize the comfort, dignity and peace provided by the professional staff and volunteers of VNS’ Hospice at Home program.

Residents are invited to have the names of their family members or loved ones read during the memorial roll or to have a memorial light on their community’s tree. For information on how to participate in the 25th annual Tree of Light in your community, call VNS at 203-366-3821, ext. 1111, or visit