For 21 years Sapulpa’s Green Hill Funeral Home and Cemetery has hosted a community Christmas program called The Living Tree Memorial Service. This year, its 22nd, will be its first year to be virtual.
Operations Manager Brenda Smith says, “We are sad because it is always a wonderful service that touches those of us who work here as well as the community that attends.” However, the community’s “health and wellbeing this holiday” are important to them, so they have tried to plan an event honoring lost loved ones while also keeping everyone safe.
Therefore, there will be an “abbreviated” service this year that will be uploaded to their website and Facebook page by 6 p.m. on Friday, December 4. The service will include a slideshow of participants’ loved ones’ photos and a reading of their names. Green Hill’s owner and funeral director Tom Dugan will say a few words, and Smith will read their annual Christmas poem “My First Christmas in Heaven.”
Historically, participants place an ornament on the Christmas Tree in the chapel or the Living Tree outside during the reading of names, however, this year, there are other options. Smith says families can bring their ornament and place it on the Living Tree’s lower branches at any time, they can bring it to the tree in the mausoleum during business hours, or they can bring it to the funeral home and have staff place it on one of the trees after the service.
Those who wish to participate may call Green Hill to register their loved one’s name and to make arrangements to have their picture in the slideshow. This is open to the whole community, not just those served by Green Hill. Additionally, multiple names can be registered.
Smith says that this service has “always been for anyone who wants to participate. If an individual chooses to use another funeral home or cemetery or just moved to the area” they are still welcome. “We all have those people we miss that have passed away and it is a wonderful way to include their memory in our holiday celebrations.”