Blue Christmas

Links of Interest/Bibliography:
Sacraparental: A Blue Christmas Service if you are Hurting at Christmas
Fat Pastor – Longest Night: For Those Who Mourn at Christmas
From Celebrate God’s Presence, Searching for Shalom by Ann Weems, Kneeling in Bethlehem by Ann Weems

Ornaments handed out during the reflective time at the Blue Christmas

God is near to all who call; their cries are heard. Psalm 145:18-19

 

Call to Worship

All around us we see the lights of Christmas, we hear the sounds of joyful celebration. We come to this service recognizing that this season is often difficult for many and may not be as joyful for us as it seems to be for many others.

As the nights have grown longer, sadness and emptiness, loneliness and pain wrap around the hearts of many. In this season of longest nights, some struggle to put into words that which causes them to feel blue rather than joyful.

For some, a loved one has died.

For others, a friend has moved away. Still others have lost a job, a cherished dream, or a sense of hope.

We might be feeling worried, trapped, insecure, adrift or alone. We may be grieving what might have been but will not be, or grieving over what used to be, but cannot be anymore.

We may simply be in need of a place of quiet and calm in an otherwise busy season.

Whatever may have brought us here we offer to the One born in Bethlehem’s stable, knowing that there is no pain that does not echo in God’s heart, no joy that does not come from God’s hand.

I See Your Pain by Ann Weems

Hymn  Sisters Let Us Walk Together MV 179

Opening Prayer

God of comfort and compassion, hear us as we pray for ourselves and for all who live with loss and loneliness, pain and grief, hurt and isolation. We ask for strength for today, courage for tomorrow, and peace for the past.

We ask these things in the name of Christ who shares our life in joy and sorrow, in death and new birth, despair and promise.  Amen.

Scripture

Psalm 121

Matthew 1:18-23

 

Hymn Stay With Us Through The Night VU 182

 

Star-Giving by Ann Weems

Blessing the Prayer Shawls

Reflective Music

 

Pastoral Prayer, ending with the Prayer of Jesus

 

Hymn Will You Come And See The Light VU 96

 

Blessing and Sending Forth Into This Silent Night Ann Weems

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