Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Wednesday Festival: Longest Night Services
This is a participatory Wednesday Festival! I searched the RevGals archives and did not find a post on this topic, though it was mentioned in comments by several. I'd like to ask you to share in the comments about your experience with this type of service and let us know whether you have something like it, with a brief description.
At this time of year, many churches offer a service of solace for those feeling out of kilter with the merriment suffusing our culture. I've heard it called "Blue Christmas," "Longest Night" (often because it's held on December 21, the longest night of the year), and "Hard to Be Merry" (in the Southern Hemisphere, where it is the opposite of the longest night).
I've never been to a service like this, but as I said to a friend today, I wish I could. I don't have any great personal tragedies making my Christmas difficult, but still, I feel depressed by the horrors of the world and by the pain I hold for others - those I know and those I don't. And those feelings are magnified by the fact that I am "supposed to" feel happy, joyful, ho ho ho! How much more must this be true for those of you whose calling is ordained ministry, and who walk with people in devastation in these days, and who are dealing with tragedies of your own as well.
In a December 10 article from Episcopal News Service, Carolyn Voldritch of the Church of Our Saviour in Charlottesville, VA, says of the service, "I find it personally helpful because you don't get to be middle-aged and not have some sort of heaviness in your heart, where you're missing someone or because things in your life didn't turn out the way you wanted them to," she said.
Yes. Thank you.
For your interest, here's a link to a wonderful liturgy for Blue Christmas on the blog of Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Kaeton, Proctor Fellow at EDS.
So, please share with us your thoughts and ideas for Longest Night services. If you want to include a link, you can do it with this little formula: <a href="the url of your blog post goes here">what you want the link to say goes here</a>
On a different but very related note - I ask your prayers for Questing Parson, whom many of you may know from his blog or on Facebook. He has been a steadfast member, friend and supporter of the RevGalBlogPals from the beginning. He has been walking in the Valley of the Shadow with his dear wife, who entered into larger life at midnight last night.
Lord, hear our prayers.