Friday, December 21, 2012

THE LONGEST NIGHT OR BLUE CHRISTMAS

 

Tonight, many churches will celebrate "Longest Night" or "Blue Christmas" services. From Episcopal Life.
During these shortest days and longest nights of the year, many Episcopal Church congregations are offering services meant to bring comfort to those who struggle to find the joy of the Advent and Christmas seasons.

Often called Blue Christmas or Longest Night services, many take place the evening of December 21, the night of the winter solstice, and are designed for people who are coping with loss. Those people hear the Christmas song that describes "the most wonderful time of the year with the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you 'Be of good cheer'" but instead feel they are living the lyrics of the 1957 hit "Blue Christmas" when Elvis Presley sings "I'll have a blue Christmas without you, I'll be so blue just thinking about you."

 

We hold before God:
those for whom life is very difficult;
those who have difficult decisions to make , and who honestly do not know the right thing to do.

We hold before God:
those who have difficult tasks to do and to face, and who fear they may fail in them;
those who have difficult temptations to face, and who know only too well that they may fall to them, if they try to meet them alone.

We hold before God:
those who know that they can be their own worst enemies.

We hold before God:
those who have difficult people to work with;
those who have to suffer unjust treatment, unfair criticism, unappreciated work.

We hold before God:
those who are sad because someone they loved has died;
and any who are disappointed in something for which they hoped very much.


William Barclay

From Celtic Daily Prayer

On the one-week anniversary of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. 
O God, whose beloved Son took children into his arms and blessed them: Give us grace to entrust the children and all those whose lives were taken yesterday in Newtown to your never failing care and love, and bring us all to your heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Most merciful God, whose wisdom is beyond our understanding: Deal graciously with the families of Newtown in their grief. Surround them with your love, that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss, but have confidence in your goodness, and strength to meet the days to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, p. 494 (The Daily Office)

4 comments:

Sarah SSM said...

Thank you for this. Linking to it on my blog.

Grandmère Mimi said...

You're welcome, Sarah.

tonip1 said...

thank you. linking to it on my blog also.

Grandmère Mimi said...

tonip, you're welcome, and thanks for the link.