There is a paradox at the heart of this season of Advent and Christmas. Joy and cheer can sometimes be overwhelmed by sadness. Christmas can be a hard time for those who have lost loved ones or who are suffering emotionally and the older we get, the more likely we are to be living with some loss. The joyful Christmas melodies may not sound in our hearts and yet we may feel compelled to deny these feelings and ‘put on a happy face’. Holding a Blue Christmas Service in your parish can help people express their sadness and pain and help provide a safe place of rest, comfort and healing.
A Blue Christmas Service is designed for people suffering with pain, loss, isolation and grief in the Advent season. The service is often held on or around December 21st, the longest night of the year, but can be held anytime during Advent. The service may include candles, meditative music, Psalms of lament, prayers for healing, blessings, and a message for people feeling a sense of loss. It might be a service of particular interest to those who lead a Bereavement Support Group in your parish.
If you would like some ideas of what to include in a short service of prayers and readings for a parish Blue Christmas, or for yourself or a friend you are visiting, look here Blue Christmas resources 2017
Here are two reflections on finding hope in a wintery Christmas season Blue Christmas Reflections