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'Blue Christmas' service to be held


December 5, 2018

The Christmas season is upon us with round-the-clock Christmas music and never-ending sales. However, for many who have lost loved ones, the season can be a burden. The joyful feeling is at odds with how we often feel as the nights grow longer. We find there are empty chairs at our holiday tables.

A Blue Christmas service is one that is offered for a bit of quiet and reflection in the midst of the joy and the lights. Folks gather on the longest night of the year to light candles remembering those who are gone. Quiet, reflective Christmas carols are sung, and reflections are shared.

This year the United Methodist Church will be holding a Blue Christmas Service on Dec. 21 (winter solstice) at 7 p.m. Pastor Joyce O’Connor-Magee will lead the service. She has a special interest and training in grief ministry. Recently she added to her resume in grief counseling by attending a seminar focusing on the particular issues of grief surrounding a death by suicide.

Over 20 years of leading Blue Christmas services, she has found that while they are often small, they can be profound for those who attend. Often there is a mistaken notion that it will hurt more to talk about loved ones who have died, while the opposite can be true. Mourners need to have a safe place to talk about what the loss means to them in a time when the world celebrates. Just lighting a candle and speaking the name of a loved one offers comfort and peace for those who mourn this time of year. All are invited to join in this service of worship.


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