My church has been doing a Longest Night/Blue Christmas service for 3 years now. I wasn't aware of this tradition before my church started doing one. I went to our first one, but last year, I didn't go because I had family in town. Last night I went again.
It was a very small group, 6 in the congregation, plus our pastor and organist; the first service two years ago had almost 30 people, although I may be remembering wrong.
It was a lovely story. We lit the candles on the Advent wreath, as we read a liturgy that explored reasons why this season might be leaving us empty-feeling. We read some Bible verses. Woven throughout the service was the singing of each verse of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel."
During the prayer, we had prayer stations. We had a stop at the baptismal font to remember our baptism and a station where we could be anointed with oil. We had a station where we could light candles to remember our loved ones and a Christmas tree where we could hang a paper ornament on which we had written our blessings. We had a station with a box of sand where we could write our sins and shortcomings in the sand and then wipe it away.
We ended with communion and sang "Silent Night" together. It was a beautiful service.
In important ways, it reminded me of Compline service at Mepkin Abbey--it's a good way to end the day.
feeling the feelings…
6 months ago