The Advent season is a time of festivity and joy. There are decorations and carols, gatherings and glad tidings. Underneath the joy of the season however, is the truth that the pain of loss is often sharpened as well. The Christmas holiday can be especially difficult for those who have lost a loved one in the last year. For those that mourn at Christmas, it can be very difficult to sing, “Joy to the World.”
On December 22, at 6:00 p.m., Two Rivers Church will host a Service of the Longest Night. Also known as a “Blue Christmas Service,” this will be a holy time set aside for those that are struggling in the Advent season. The purpose of the service is not to dwell on sadness. Instead, it is to acknowledge that even though society tells us to “be of good cheer,” sometimes that is easier said than done. This service will be on the night after the winter solstice. After a long season of the days getting gradually shorter, we will gather as the night slowly fades.
The service will include a brief ritual involving blue carnations. It will also be a time to gather at the Lord’s Table for Holy Communion. There will be times of silence for meditation, and contemplative music. Depending on the attendance, the service will probably last about 40 minutes.