Last night I stopped down for the Luminaria ceremony of the Relay for Life at Gloucester High School in the Newell Stadium. On one hand, I wanted to be there in memory of friend and family members who have died from cancer (including my maternal grandmother and a high school classmate). On the other, I knew it would be a great opportunity for some inspirational photography…
Here’s an explanation from the Relay for Life website (with my photos from yesterday):
“Simple white luminaria bags are transformed and illuminated after dark at every local Relay For Life event. Each one is personalized with the name, photo, message or drawing in memory or honor of a friend or loved one who has been affected by cancer. Each luminaria candle represents a person. They are our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, friends, coworkers and so much more!
As the sun sets at a Relay For Life event, luminaria lining the track illuminate the night and a hush falls over the event that had been filled with the sounds of celebration. Relay For Life participants, survivors and caregivers then gather together for the Luminaria Ceremony to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to honor those who have battled the disease.
As participants walk the track lined with luminara bags in reflection, a caregiver who has lost a loved one may find comfort from a fellow caregiver who has faced a similar loss. Meanwhile, a survivor gains hope and strength from others who have followed the same journey and survived. All resolve to keep fighting to save more lives so no more luminaria bear the names of those lost to the disease.”
I don’t know the details of how the relay works, but there are clearly different teams who are camping out. They set up campsites with different themes and decorations. Here are a couple:
-Fr. Matthew Green