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Butterflies released in memory of loved ones
July 11, 2019

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MUNCY - Releasing butterflies has become a common thread to symbolize a loved one's life in passing or memorialize another who is dear to one's heart. Others believe it may be considered to bring good fortune in flight, or a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings.

On Thursday, June 20 a planned ceremony and the first annual memorial butterfly release took place at the First United Methodist Church in Muncy. Anne Knox, one of the organizers, opened the ceremony before 125 butterflies were released in the new memory garden. Inside a brief service was held to honor those in loving memory. "A cocoon says 'My life is over', but a butterfly says 'My life is just beginning'", announced Knox to the participants at the service.

A solo of the "Lord's Prayer" was performed by David Waltz who also sang "Lead Me Home" before a prayer was given by Pastor Kathy Burkhart, also from Unityville Methodist Church. She read, "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!"

Before releasing the butterflies outside, Pastor Burkhart reflected on her enjoyment of watching butterflies and hummingbirds, but she is still trying to figure out these "God's creations."

Each of the four stages of the developing butterfly were symbolic of the stages of each of our lives, she said. "Pray to get the wings you needIt is your choice to be like a butterfly. We all have something in common. We all lost someone we love."

Beautiful weather brought everyone outside for the butterfly release and a duet "In the Garden" was presented by Karen Barraco and Patti Myers.

Burkhart concluded, "Learn to cope and measure the memories eternally. We celebrate the resurrection and rejoice in wonder, and reconnection."

During the closing ceremony, Shawanna Vermilya played "Taps" on the bugle while everyone released their individual butterfly.

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