Thursday, December 7, 2023

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like . . .Blue Christmas ~Jean C. Gordon

Posting my blog a little late today. I got distracted designing a poster about our church's Worship Service for the Weary yesterday and forgot today was my blog day. Unfortunately, for too many people--those who have lost a loved one or are suffering from other grief and stress--the December holiday season may not be joyous. Our Worship for the Weary is for those people. 

I haven't attended our service before, so I went to Wikipedia for some background. Blue Christmas (also called the Longest Night) is a day during Advent that marks the longest night of the year. Blue Christmas worship services are traditionally held on or around the longest night of the year, which falls on or about December 21, the Winter Solstice. There is an interesting convergence for this day as it is also the traditional feast day for Saint Thomas the Apostle. This linkage invites making some connections between Saint Thomas's struggle to believe in Jesus' resurrection, the long nights just before Christmas, and the battle with darkness and grief some people may be struggling with.

The worship often includes opportunities to express grief, pain, and heartbreak, as well as to focus on the promise of hope found in Christ. Candles, arranged as an Advent wreath, may be lit during the service, and empty chairs may be reserved to commemorate those lost during the previous year. The images of the winter solstice, including the beginning of increasingly longer days, are a significant part of the imagery used in this worship event.

Have any of you attended a Blue Christmas Service? I plan to go this year. I lost a dear, long-time friend and my favorite brother-in-law this year and have faced some daunting challenges with our special needs son.

On a more joyful note, through the end of December, you can read all of my Christmas books free in Kindle Unlimited, including my newest release, His Christmas Star.

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