Women of the ELCA (WELCA) will be hosting a Blue Christmas online service on Wednesday, December 21, starting at 7pm Central:
“Our Blue Christmas Service offers a safe place to bring your grief, fear, and loss. Brief readings. Quiet and reflective music. Prayers. All are welcome. Spanish translation provided.”
If you’re not familiar with a Blue Christmas service, here is some context adapted from a 2020 WELCA blog post:
We’re often taught that Christmas should be a happy season. But it’s hard to sing “Joy to the World” when sadness engulfs your heart. The reality of life—memories of the past and the pain of the present—can leave many people feeling less than merry in December. It might be the death of a loved one, a discouraging diagnosis, a job loss, or some other family crisis. Add to it the SARS-CoV-2 (often referred to as COVID-19) pandemic and all that it has wrought and continues to wreak.
We have committed ourselves to promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world. How can we do that for those who are sad or suffering this season? We will gather on the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere—the Winter Solstice—December 21. Into God’s presence, we will bring whatever weighs us down: the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, the brokenness of a relationship, loneliness, isolation, and worries for the state of our world, just to name a few. And we will be fed by words, music, and prayers.
Death and disappointment are very much a part of life. However, when we experience death or disappointment while the rest of the world seems focused on ho-ho-ho happiness, realities and expectations collide. Healing rituals like the Blue Christmas Service acknowledge painful realities and re-connect those of us who mourn with the redeeming and reconciling love of God in Jesus Christ.