Cultura Garden Club promotes Every Light a Prayer for Peace
Tomorrow the Cultura Garden Club will give everyone an opportunity to illuminate peace in the world.
The annual Every Light a Prayer for Peace ceremony will take place on the steps of the Franklin County Courthouse in Russellville on Dec. 3, at 4:30 p.m.
“We think about peace in the homes … and peace in our communities, and we hope that it just spreads into the world,” said club vice president Cheri McCain.
The ceremony began as a way to remember and honor active military and veterans who have fought to bring peace to the nation, to both celebrate that peace and pray for it to continue. The local observance is coordinated by Susie Malone, Every Light a Prayer for Peace chairperson.
Every Light a Prayer for Peace is observed statewide, coordinated in Alabama by Alabama Garden Clubs throughout the state. It has been celebrated since its inception Dec. 1, 1951, during the Korean War, instituted by Alabamian Dorothy spear Parrish with a special tree lighting ceremony. The program was adopted by the Federated Garden Clubs of Alabama in 1954. The songs, prayers, devotion and candle-lighting service honor the many who make sacrifices for peace.
“We’ve decorated the courthouse, so it’s always a beautiful setting,” said club president Martha Sibley.
All veterans and active military and their families are also invited to a reception from 3:30-4:15 p.m. inside the courthouse before the ceremony, co-presented by the garden club and Study Club. The reception will offer time to mix and mingle, along with refreshments. A place of honor at the peace ceremony will be offered to the veterans in attendance.
The street in front of the courthouse will be blocked off prior to the ceremony, and citizens should not park in that area to make room for the attendees at the ceremony.
Choruses from Russellville City Schools as part of the ceremony, including a rendition of “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” The high school JROTC will present the colors. Special guests this year include Mrs. America Madeline Mitchell Gwin, who will read the peace poem, and Trey Durden, minister at North Highlands church of Christ, who will share a message about peace with all those in attendance.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony, which immediately precedes the Russellville Christmas parade.
Last year’s ceremony won first place in the state competition, the Dorothy Speir Parrish award.