Wathall’s Memorial Service Goes Online
The Annual Celebration of Remembrance and Hope gives families time to remember loved ones as Christmas approaches.
Family-owned Wathall’s, Derby’s longest-established independent funeral directors, have teamed up with Derby Cathedral to ensure that local people can still take time to remember their loved ones with a special pre-recorded service that will be available online.
First held in 2008, Wathall’s annual Celebration of Remembrance and Hope is usually attended by more than 800 people at the Cathedral.
Due to Covid restrictions, the service will now be virtual and available to watch at the time when the physical service would have been held - on Thursday December 10 at 6.30pm - and then at any time through a link on the Wathall’s website.
The service is available to watch free of charge https://www.wathalls.co.uk/wathalls- memorial-service-goes-online/ with the order of service available to download online.
Alternatively, a printed order of service can be posted by telephoning Wathall’s on 01332 345268.
Filmed by Derby company Future Proof Films, the service will start with an introduction by Helen Wathall MBE who is the fifth generation of her family to head up the business.
The Dean of Derby The Revd Dr Peter Robinson will welcome everyone to the service and then give the address. The greeting and Act of Remembrance will be led by the Cathedral’s Canon Precentor The Revd Richard Andrews.
The Cathedral Choir will lead the advent carols and also recite the poignant Psalm 23 and Fauré’s ‘In Pardisium’.
In keeping with tradition, the service will finish with the moving poem by a 13-year-old boy ‘My First Christmas in Heaven’.
Instead of the usual procession to hang a star and message on the Christmas tree in the Cathedral, everyone will be invited to light a candle at home to signify remembrance and hope. Wathall’s is also inviting families to send them stars and messages which will adorn the trees in the windows of the branch offices in Derby, Alvaston, Ashbourne, Borrowash and Burton-on-Trent.
Helen Wathall said: “Christmas can be an especially difficult time of year when the ‘empty chair’ at the table is particularly poignant – regardless of how far people are in their grief journey.
“The Celebration of Remembrance and Hope is therefore a welcome opportunity to draw on the calm positivity that runs through this service.
“We organised the first service in 2008 and it has grown every year with some people returning every December to remember a family member – joined by those who have been more recently bereaved.
“We are obviously disappointed not to be meeting up in person this year to offer our support to the hundreds of people who usually join us in the Cathedral.
“I hope that, through the darkness of grief and sorry, we can all be lifted by the promise of life, light and hope through the virtual service.”
Wathall’s chooses a different charity each year to receive donations made in person and online and this year will be supporting Derby & Burton Hospitals Charity Covid-19 Support Appeal to help the hospitals through the pandemic but also to enable them to support staff and patients in the transitional period afterwards.
The company is also sharing details of its award-winning Dandelions Bereavement Support programme with support groups currently meeting online before being able to join together again monthly in Derby and Ashbourne.
For more information about the Celebration of Remembrance of Hope and Dandelions
Bereavement Support, please call Wathall’s Tel: 01332 345268 or visit www.wathalls.co.uk