Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A BLUE Christmas Service

What a blessing. What thoughtfulness. What consideration.
Tonight our church hosted it's first ever "Blue Christmas" service.
It was soft.
It was deep.
It was compelling.
The chancel was darkened except for blue lights illuminating the altar and numerous simple white candles twinkling.
The music was presented by a trio, accompanied by piano and acoustic guitar.
It was quiet.
It was moving.
It was healing.
The poinsettia tree was already in it's place of honor, but the focus was much more subdued and it literally stood in the shadows.
The readings selected spoke of 'seasons: a time to weep' and 'deep speaking unto deep.'
It was a blue service. For those grieving, for those in the midst of loss. For those having a difficult time embracing the traditional ebullience of a hyper-over-produced Christmas, which can be a criticism for even the church.
It was a blue service. For the lonely. For the broken. For the forgotten. For the exhausted. For the searching. For the despondent.
The pastor spoke of the strength and value of tears -- especially during this season. He addressed loss. He spoke of 'missing gifts' when a loved one is no longer in our midst. He preached about being brought to your knees with questions and searching hearts..... how such times may be when we are most seeking answers and ready & available to listen.
He spoke of consolation.
He spoke of lighting your candle against the darkness.
He spoke of yearning.
He spoke of sorrow.
He spoke of heart break.
It was tranquil.
It was serene.
It was peaceful.
It was very possibly one of the most meaningful worship services I have ever attended. I sat there thinking what a gift for our congregation, for our community. I sat there with tears streaming down my face for most of the service. Gentle tears of acceptance. Gentle tears of peace.
It was gentle.
It was at the same time hopeful.
It was powerful.
Strength from weakness.
As we walked across the dark parking lot on our way to the car, I was thinking how I could possibly convey the simplicity, the majesty and the ringing truth.
This season is so hard, for so many.
I wished that every congregation would host such a service. A 'blue' Christmas. I was thinking of a picture to post here, on this thread. A single candle?
Just as I was considering the options I saw the license plate on the car parked next to ours.
I pray that you will embrace your survivor-hood status and that the season at hand brings answers as you seek -- sometimes on your knees, sometimes while sobbing, that you are loved with a depth beyond your understanding. I pray that you know that you are never alone. I pray that our community offers you strength. I pray that this season offers you a moment of reflection. I pray this season brings you hope -- even in the broken-ness which is ours.
Strength and courage.
Strength and courage.
Strength and courage.
Thank you divine angels for leading a worship committee to have the insight to create an entire service of dignity and quiet for us to collectively mourn our losses. May you bring comfort and consolation to those who are in need here in our community. May we raise one another up, by sharing our losses, our sorrow, our weariness..... dividing it by our sharing it. May you shower us with the gentle healing of our acknowledging our blueness and may that healing give You glory.

Strength and courage.
Strength and courage.
Strength and courage.
[I wrote this 'post' for a thread over @ BCO entitled, "WOMEN OF FAITH" on the Stage IV forum.]


  1. Awesome words Debbie! Have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Deborah. All these many months & months & months later I am brought back to this post, because of seeing a single comment.

    Reading it all this while longer I see that they are words of strength. Thanks for your support it real time. I'm glad I happened back here, today.


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