The annual “Angel of Hope” Candlelight Vigil will take place Saturday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Pineville.

This non-denominational ceremony is open to all parents, family members and friends who have lost a child. Roses and candles will be provided.

The Christmas Box Statue, known locally as the “Angel of Hope,” was inspired by Richard Paul Evans’ book, “The Christmas Box.” It depicts a child angel with its arms stretched upward. In Evans’ book, a mother weeps at the base of the statue as she tries to cope with her grief over the loss of a child.  Because of that, the angel has become a symbol of hope and remembrance for families nationwide who have lost a child.

The statue at Mount Olivet is the only one of its kind in Louisiana, though there are more than 100 Christmas Box Angel statues across the United States.

 “We wanted to bring this angel to central Louisiana because we felt it was important that families have a place to grieve, a place to rest,” said Pam Schroeder, who lost an infant child several years ago, and began this annual event in Central Louisiana.

Each year, candlelight vigils are held on Dec. 6 at each of the Christmas Box Angel locations. The first vigil in central Louisiana brought more than 300 visitors – and the number continues to grow.

The cemetery is located at the corner of Singer and Ball streets in Pineville.