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Joy, Sorrow Closely Tied

By Staff | Dec 18, 2019

Lighting candles in memory of Frederick E. Nicewinter, late of Clarkstown, are family members (front) great-granddaughter Ariella Brelsford, (back left to right) daughter Michelle Reese and widow Donna (Hardesty) Nicewinter. The Dec. 8 service, comforting those grieving the loss of loved ones this year, was sponsored by McCarty-Thomas Funeral Home hosted at the Friends Church, Hughesville.

HUGHESVILLE-Relatives grieving the loss of some 188 members of the local community accepted the invitation to a Remembrance Service sponsored by McCarty-Thomas Funeral Home and hosted at the Friends Church in Hughesville.

Held Sunday afternoon Dec. 8, the service was in stark contrast to another event, that of the town’s parade ushering in the Christmas season. Just an hour earlier, babies in strollers and youngsters wrapped for warmth, made their way to Main Street as families participated in joyous anticipation of the upcoming holidays.

An hour later, a somber gathering of other sorrowing families sat quietly in pews viewing a screen where names and faces of those who had left them during the year. As names scrolled, pianist Karlda (Boston) Thomas provided a background of prelude music.

The service began with a greeting from Michael Hacker, director and owner of McCarty-Thomas Funeral Home who said, “Facing the holiday after a loss is difficult. This day is to comfort you and remember your loved one’s legacy.”

Others participating were the Reverends Ronald Montgomery of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Unityville; William Hargenrader, Millview Wesleyan Church in Forksville; and host pastor Dan Cale, who led a responsive reading titled “A Commitment to Remember.”

A message of hope was given by the Reverend Robert Rice of Muncy Baptist Church. “Joy and sorrow are closely tied, but we have God’s promise to be with us always, not temporarily but permanently. None of us is alone, we can step forward each day with hope,” Rice said.

On the screen, bits of two movies where shown. The first from the film “Love Letters” was accompanied by Sarah McLachlan’s vocal rendition of “I Will Remember You.” The second were war scenes displayed with emblems from all service branches in memory of deceased members of the military. “See You Again” by Charlie Puth was the accompanying musical score.

The third annual service concluded with Mr. Hacker noting meaningful colors of four tower candles including purple for grief; red for courage; white for memory and pink for love.

As names of the deceased were read, loved ones were invited forward to light individual candles cupped in small bowls. From the Nicewinter family of Clarkstown were Frederick’s widow Donna (Hardesty) Nicewinter, daughter Michelle Reese and great-granddaughter Ariella Brelsford.

Refreshments and socializing were held in the church’s Fireside Room.