The holiday season is not jolly for everyone, especially with recent deaths in our families along with ongoing grieving and other difficulties of the season. Thankfully, many Protestant churches throughout the United States offer Blue Christmas or Longest Night Services in December to help us through these tough times. When my younger sister unexpectedly died on November 30, 2010, my father-in-law wisely suggested that I attend one such service. He was right: I received much comfort and support in that service. When my mom died two years later in early December, I sought succor in this ritual again.
So often, the grieving process continues. I still find myself having a rough time each December as these anniversaries of their deaths roll around. Thankfully, over and over again, hundreds of people throughout our nation gift us with their words, wisdom, and music through these rituals of mercy and love. They address all areas of difficulties, ranging from grief to loneliness to fear and more. I focused on different angles of these services in past blogs:
In 2014, Blue Christmas Services Honoring the Entire Range of Emotions during the Holidays (general description).
In 2015, Blue Christmas and Longest Night Services Bringing Solace and Healing to Those Suffering during the Holidays (history, pr efforts, and ministering to the wider community).
In 2016, Blue Christmas Services: An Invitation to Rest (my seven year personal journey with the services).
A few services in the Denver, Colorado area in December 2017 (my home locale):
Wednesday, December 6, 6-6:45pm, Stiles Chapel (Level 2), Trinity United Methodist Church, Denver.
Wednesday, December 13, 7-8pm, Highlands Church (held at Holiday Theatre), 2644 32nd Ave, Denver, CO.
Sunday, December 17, 7pm, Sanctuary, Highlands United Methodist Church, 3131 Osceola St., Denver, CO, 303-477-5817.
FOR PERSONS IN OTHER GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO A GOOGLE SEARCH AND FIND A SERVICE NEAR YOU.