We used to have an annual celebration for those whose hearts were heavy and for whom absences were keenly felt during the holidays: a Blues Christmas. It let light shine into those deep places of grief and aloneness.
We haven't done it in a few years but this Christmas Eve at 10h00 we will name those we carry with love in our hearts. At this Blues gathering I will put on the Christmas tree a small paper ornament with the name of my brother Joe, for his one year anniversary of death. There will be enough for you to use/place as well. We need light to shine in our sadness before it can be shared with others.
Memorial lights on the tree in front of the church; a take out meal offered to seniors or shut ins on the 26th; a particular prayer for grieving families: there are many lovely ways to be illuminated by light this holiday season. Join us as you can; invite someone for the Candlelight/Chantons Noël musical Celebration, Christmas Eve or to the community turkey meal.
Maybe at home you can read one of the scriptures below and listen to the song: "I'll have a Blue Christmas without you".
We hold each other in our hearts and prayers.
We let light shine through the cracks. (thanks Leonard Cohen for that line)
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.
Psalm 121 Unto the hills
Isaiah 40:1-8 Comfort, O comfort my people
Matthew 1:18-23 Angel appears to Joseph in a dream
Luke 1:8-13 Angel announces the birth of John the Baptist
Luke 1:26-30 The angel Gabriel visits Mary
Luke 2:6-10 An angel announces Jesus birth
Luke 6:20-23 Blessed are you who weep
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who knows our pain and struggle,
the peace of God, which passes all understanding,
and the strength of the Holy Spirit,
be with you this day/night and always. Amen.