"A lot of times during the holidays, people's support systems [close friends] aren't available, because they're with their own families," he said.
In years past, around 30 to 40 have attended the prayer service. Everyone is welcome, said Finnell, who usually sees different people attend each year.
"Some people are ready to move on from their memories and some people are not. We have some repeats, but a lot of new faces," Finnell said.
Scripture and poetry will be recited to remind those suffering that they are not alone. Simply acknowledging a person's worry or sadness does a lot for the spirit, he said.
"The readings will simply speak about the sadder dimension of life," he said.
Four large candles will be lit, which will symbolize those loved and lost, redemptive pain, caring support and hope.
"Anyone who wants to can come forward to light a candle to represent themselves or someone they want to remember," Finnell said. "All of the candles will be placed on the altar so we can see everyone's sadness together, which makes you linked up with a community, rather than isolated."
The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required. Blessed Sacrament is located at 305 E Street in South Charleston.
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.