Candle of Hope Ceremony

For many attending Relay For Life, the most moving, poignant and personal part of the event is the Candle of Hope Ceremony.

During this ceremony, and then from there throughout the night, the walking track is lit by the glow of illuminated candle bags, each of which has a special meaning to the person who personally decorated it.

Some celebrate those who have overcome cancer and are recognised by us as survivors. Many commemorate those who have been lost to the disease. ALL represent someone special who has been profoundly affected by cancer and / or their family and friends who continue the fight against the disease on their behalf or in their memory.

But the candle bags also represent hope; hope that one day an effective cure will be found for all cancers and that, in future, the word cancer itself will not have the profound effect it does on individuals and families today.

The Candle of Hope Ceremony represents a time for reflection, grieving and hope. Encourage your team – and anyone you know who has been affected by cancer – to provide and decorate a candle bag as part of this moving ceremony.

Candle Bags

Candle bags are available from the following outlets: Mainland’s Shop (Dunrossness), Bigton Shop, Sandwick Baking Company, Scalloway Meat Company, Shetland Times shop, Shetland Soap Company, Bank of Scotland, Thulecraft, Ninian, Brae Garage, Robinson & Morrisons (Weisdale), Eid Community Co-operative (Aith), JWJ (Whalsay), Ollaberry Shop, R.S. Henderson’s (Yell) and the Final Checkout, Unst.

In addition to the above outlets, bags will also be available for purchase and decoration during the Gala Day at Clickimin which precedes the Relay on Saturday 26th May. See Gala details on this website. Candle bags will also be available from committee members.

A donation of £5 is suggested for each candle bag.

Candle bags are blank at the point of purchase. These can then be exclusively designed to meet individual requirements – either in memory of someone lost to cancer, or to signify hope for the future in the fight against the disease. The design of each bag is left entirely up to the individual concerned.

Decorated bags can be returned to any of the shops listed above or to committee members ahead of the event. This must be done by Monday 21st May.

Each candle bag contains a slip of paper which can be completed with the name or names of folk you wish to appear on the ceremony’s Roll of Honour. These names will appear on a screen during the ceremony. This can be done in memory of loved ones, or to celebrate survivors.

Candles will be lit inside each bag during the Candle of Hope Ceremony, while additional candles and lighters will be provided around the track so these can be relit throughout the night. Stewards will also be on hand to assist with keeping the bags lit.

Why a Candle In A Bag

  • The paper bag represents our thick skin – what you need when you hear a cancer diagnosis
  • The sand offers us a firm foundation when we feel weak and falter.
  • The candle is as solid as a rock. It’s what our family, friends, doctors and nurses are to us
  • The flame is the light of hope that a cure will be found
  • Fills the burning desire in each of us to extinguish cancer NOW!

Music - Candle of Hope Ceremony

Music at the Candle of Hope Ceremony will be provided by Hjaltibonhoga (the Edinburgh Military Tattoo Shetland fiddle group), while the winning song(s) chosen during the song-writing competition run earlier this year in conjunction with the local Singer/Songwriters group, will also be performed during this event.