Why should my church offer a Blue Christmas worship service?
“Many of us are acquainted with the paradox of the Advent and Christmas seasons – a time when we feel we are supposed to celebrate hope, love, joy and peace, and yet a time that can also be full of depression, sadness and grief. Blue Christmas services offer special recognition of the struggles that many people face during this season. Its somber tone also testifies to the struggles of Mary, Joseph and Jesus that are often overlooked. By offering this service of worship to your congregation and community, you can acknowledge the struggles that we all face while providing a safe place of rest, comfort and healing.” http://www.chreader.org/contentPage.aspx?resource_id=1005 (Some links to resource suggestions are given at this site.)
● “Cries of “Merry Christmas!” and non-stop caroling contrast with the feelings of many people at this time of year. For those suffering from the recent or impending death of loved ones, dealing with recent separation or divorce, struggling to find employment, or facing depression or family crisis, this can be a very isolated and dreary time. Every greeting and every song reminds the grief-stricken of how unhappy life is at this moment.We recognize that a lot of the Christmas celebrations do not meet everyone’s needs. To fill this gap we are offering Blue Christmas.”
The Image and this invitation text are at http://www.grace.org/care/article348880.htm
● “This communal expression supported those living with loss, depression and struggle in naming and “owning” their “blues.” While the texts of the prayers and litanies enumerated categories of loss and need, it was the environment of hope and faith punctuated with silence that allowed participants to “name” and own their particular loss(es).” – Daniel Benedict, OSL
● “Christmas can be a painful time for some. It may be the first Christmas without a loved family member who has recently died; it may be a time that has always been difficult. The constant refrains on radio and television, in shopping malls and churches, about the happiness of the season, about getting together with family and friends, reminds many people of what they have lost. The anguish of the death of a loved one can make us feel alone in the midst of the celebrating and joy. We need the space and time to acknowledge our sadness; we need to know that we are not alone. We need encouragement to live the days ahead of us.”
This 2012 Flyer Image is at http://www.universitychurchchicago.org/128-blue-christmas-worship-service/