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A message of hope and love

A Time for Angels program set for Sunday

-Submitted photo
The 2021 angel keepsake for Gunderson Funeral Home’s A Time for Angels service was handcrafted by Chris Jondle, of Fort Dodge.

Gunderson Funeral Home and Cremation Services will host its 22nd annual A Time for Angels service of remembrance on Sunday at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, 239 N. 11th St.

The service will begin at 1:30 p.m. and is open to the public. The purpose of the service is to remember loved ones lost over the past year.

“To give them some love and hope for their family as they are missing their loved one at the holidays,” said Keely Gunderson, community events coordinator for the funeral home. “And we give them an angel they can take home and put on their Christmas tree or maybe on a side table in remembrance of their loved one.”

The service will include messages given by Monsignor Kevin McCoy, of Holy Trinity Catholic Parish, and the Rev. Emily Sauer, of St. Olaf. There will be music, as well as a portion of the program where speakers read off the names of those who have passed since last year.

When planning A Time For Angels, Gunderson starts with the families her funeral home has served over the last year, but extends a welcome to everyone in the community. Anyone is welcome to provide the name of a loved one who passed for inclusion in the program. Names can be called in to the funeral home at 515-576-7128.

A live stream of the service will be available at www.facebook.com/StOlafFD.

A Time for Angels was started by the funeral home in 1998, Gunderson said.

“We had a pretty small group that first year, maybe 25 people,” she said. “And it’s grown to where we’ve had years with as many as 400.”

Many families, she said, return for the service year after year, even when they haven’t lost a loved one recently.

“I think it does give them the message of hope and love as they’re missing their loved one,” Gunderson said.

In 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the funeral home decided to host the service virtually, making 2021 only the 22nd time the service has been held in person.

“This year, we’re back to in-person and the program has lovely messages for those who have lost a loved one,” Gunderson said.

Each family with a loved one named during the service will receive an angel keepsake. Additional angels will be available for purchase for $15 after the service.

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