Today is the winter solstice. I learned yesterday about a liturgical recognition of this day called a “Blue Christmas Service.” Some of the sisters on the east coast are leading these services tonight.
I think it’s a wonderful idea for the church to recognize that this is a very hard time for a lot of people. Even if you don’t have to deal year in and year out with seasonal depression, sometimes the holidays are tough. Like the first holiday after a dear one has died or a relationship has collapsed.
It would be wonderful to have a chance to address this from a faith perspective.
Here’s what one of my sisters has done in the past. I’d like to remember this idea and suggest it when I’m working in a parish again.
I have done a Blue Christmas service for about ten years
now. Our first services were done by our Stephen’s Ministers and with
their help we had coffee and cookies following the services just to give
people an opportunity to talk.
I have loved Ann Weems Psalms of Lament, that she has wrote [sic] following the death of her son. I have used them for several of the readings in my services.
The past two years, and we will celebrate the second of those services
tomorrow evening at 7:00, will be with the UCC Church in our area. We
share readings, hymns, and then do a healing service with annointing.
At the close of the service we invite those who wish to come up and
light a candle to bring light to the darkness of the longest night, just
as Christ brought light into our lives .
A quick search on the Google shows that there are a lot of Lutheran churches that use this opportunity to minister to those in their community that need it. No merry merry joyous carols. No ‘putting on a happy’ face, but the acknowledgment that sometimes life hurts and even then God walks with us.
It is one of the powerful pieces of my faith that if Jesus was actually human that meant that his life actually sucked sometimes. People he loved died. Heck, his best friends betrayed and abandoned him when he needed them most.
I think recognizing and holding a Blue Christmas service sounds like a good idea.