Christmas “Blue” for some

Service caters to those who aren’t merry

By Jaime Thomas

Though it’s touted as the most wonderful time of the year, for some Christmas season is filled with sadness rather than joy.

To empathize with and support those going through difficult times, some churches hold a “Blue Christmas” or longest night service.

At the West Hebron United Presbyterian Church, Pastor Laura Mitchell will hold the event for the second year in a row.

“Because Christmas is all about being merry and bright and joy-filled, but whether we’ve had a death in the family, depression or a loss of job or relationship, every year people are grieving while the rest of the world is celebrating,” she explained.

During the service, which lasts no more than 45 minutes, those in attendance gather, listen to music and read scripture. There’s also a laying on of hands, which Mitchell describes as a way of praying.

“We come together and have a quiet time of reflection and hearing. We try to give folks a safe place to grieve, cry and receive prayer,” she said. Those who are interested will also have the option to light a candle either in memory of someone or as a symbol of Christ.

Additionally, Mitchell said participants can write down prayer requests, which she’ll use to pray for them and then burn.

Last year’s turnout was small, but there was a variety of men and women ranging in age from 20s to 90s.

“Most people could say there’s sometime in the season when they’re not feeling joy,” Mitchell said, adding that the service is open to any person of any denomination. And the service can benefit more than those going through a dark period.

“Even if you’re not particularly grieving, and you’re just tired of all the craziness. It’s such a breath of fresh air,” Mitchell said. “It’s quiet and reflective, which is so in contrast with what’s going on outside.”

Mitchell, who is a second-career pastor, said she thinks the concept of Blue Christmas is relatively new, but said healing services have been around as long as the church.

Her service will be held on Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at the church.

The Argyle United Methodist Church will also hold a Blue Christmas service on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: ,

North Country Freepress – 04/21/17

FreePress_4_21_17.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 04/21/17

Lakes_4_21_17.pdf-web.pdf

Northshire Freepress – 04/21/17

Northshire_4_21_17.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Classifieds – 04/21/17

Lakes_4_21_17.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 04/20/17

518 Wheels_4_17_17.pdf-web.pdf

St. Mary’s dedication of altar April 27

st. mary's

By Krystle S. Morey Following the recent completion of a years-long renovation, St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church is finally ready […]

Area towns, villages plan clean-up events

veterans memorial park

By Krystle S. Morey, Keith Harrington, Matthew Saari Clean up. Clean up. Everybody do your share. Area communities will take […]

Whitehall hosts ‘cutthroat’ Iron Chef competition

Iron Chef winners

By Matthew Saari Iron Chef competitions have more than 20 years of rich history, noble tradition, rigorous rivalries and superbly […]

7 vying seats on Whitehall school board

Elementary School Memorial Day

By Matthew Saari In a continuing trend of civic involvement throughout Whitehall, seven individuals have thrown their figurative hats in […]

Five seek seats on Granville school board

A desk has been set up at the front of the Elementary School for security and tax processing. All visitors must check in at the front desk or office when entering either the high school or elementary school.
This new procedure is designed to improve security at the facilities.

By Krystle S. Morey Put down your pencils. The petitions for seats on the Granville Board of Education are in. […]

Lakes Classifieds – 04/14/17

Lakes_4_14_17.pdf-web.pdf

Weekender – 04/14/17

Weekender_4_14_17.pdf-web.pdf