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First Presbyterian Church in Batavia hosting service of remembrance and hope

First Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main St., Batavia, is holding a special remembrance service at 6:30 p.m., Friday, to honor those who have passed in 2012 and also to pray for those touched by the recent tragedy in Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Pastor Roula Alkhouri holds a service annually for those who have lost loved ones during the year, but this year, there's greater sorrow for the nation following the massacre in Newtown, Conn.

"We are reminded once more that Christmas can be a painful time for some," Alkhouri said. "In the face of loss, we struggle to find joy in this season. For some this may be the first Christmas without a loved family member who has recently died."

Alkhouri said she is reaching out to pastors and congregations throughout the county to join in this year's service.

"This will be a quiet service of remembrance and hope," she said. "We will light candles for the loss of loved ones. We will also light special candles for the victims of violence of last Friday’s tragedy. We will hear through Scripture and music that God’s presence is (there) for those who struggle and mourn and how God’s Word offers us strength as a light shining into our brokenness."

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