Welcome to this Blue Christmas service, a time when we can, in company with each other, acknowledge our doubts, fears and feelings at Christmas time. This is the time of the shortest day and longest night of the year, when memories of past experiences and the pain of present reality can become overwhelming. Recognizing that this is not a season of joy for everyone, in this service we will be invited to reflect on the pain, the loneliness, and the sorrow we may feel and offer it all to our great sign of hope, the Holy Child of Bethlehem. We pray that all of us will find hope and comfort in knowing that we are not alone.
A Prayer for the darkest night.
Listen, let your heart keep seeking; listen to his constant speaking;
Listen to the spirit calling you. Listen to his inspiration;
Listen to his invitation; Listen to the spirit calling you.
He’s in the sound of the thunder, in the whisper of the breeze.
He’s in the might of the whirlwind, in the roaring of the seas.
He’s in the laughter of children, in the patter of the rain.
Hear him in cries of the suffering, in their moaning and their pain.
He’s in the noise of the city, in the singing of the birds.
And in the night-time, the stillness helps you listen to his word.
Let us be still, and make ourselves ready to hear his invitation (Silence)
1-2 The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
in readiness for God from day one.
was created through him;
nothing—not one thing
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out.
Taize Chant: Within our darkest night you kindle a fire that never dies away, never dies away.
The light shines in the darkness, the light shines for us, and through us, even when we are unaware, there is light.
The invitation: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out … Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Space to be
I lift up my eyes to the hills;
From where is my help to come?
My help comes from the LORD,
The maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved
And he who watches over you will not fall asleep.
Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep;
The LORD himself watches over you;
The LORD is your shade at your right hand,
So that the sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
It is he who shall keep you safe.
The LORD shall watch over your going out and your coming in,
From this time forth for evermore
Hymn: STF 169: Come thou long expected Jesus
Prayers: Loving God, hear our prayer,
And in your merciful love, answer.
The Lord’s Prayer
Hymn: STF 205 It came upon a midnight clear
(you are invited to remain in this space for as long as you would like to)