Dark Christmas/Advent Service
The holidays are not so easy for everyone. It seems all around you, others are having fun, enjoying family and friends, and celebrating. For many, this pressure to have fun and enjoy the holidays only compounds their sense of isolation and loneliness. As a church, it is critically important that while we celebrate this Advent season, we also minister to those for whom this is a difficult time of year.
Many families are marking the passing of a beloved family member or lamenting the rupture of a lost relationship. The Christmas season is marked by ritual. While these rituals bring us comfort, losses experienced many months or even years ago take on new significance when viewed through these changed rituals. How do we recognize these losses and provide a safe way to mourn in this time of Christmas cheer?
This is an important service for our church, both in the sense of a liturgical happening and a ministry. If you would like to offer a service, here are a few resources to get started:
- The Episcopal Cafe posted an article on Blue Christmas that continues to provide conversation each year at this time.
- Our Resources section includes several orders of service for Dark/Blue Christmas.
- Episcopal Church Foundation: Blue Christmas
- Blue Christmas Service, Grace Episcopal Church, Charleston, SC
- Blue Christmas Worship Service, St. Alban's Episcopal Church
- Blue Christmas Service, All Saints', Atlanta, GA
Please let us know in the comments below how your parish is supporting those who grieve during the holidays.
O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen,
and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever
of life is over, and our work is done. In your mercy, grant us a safe
lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.