Blue Christmas Service
December 20 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
When Christmas Isn’t Merry
The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, what we call the “Christmas Holidays” is supposed to be the most wonderful season of the year. From TV specials and movies, store advertising that begins in October, the gaiety of holiday parties, and Christmas carols, you’d think that November and December would always be a perfect time of joy and peace.
In reality, for many people, the holidays are sad reminders of better times, now gone by. When there has been a death, an illness or injury, loss of income or ability, or some other personal tragedy, the weeks of Christmas in particular can be filled with depression and sadness. Those feelings can’t be alleviated by the decorating of a tree or wrapping another present. Everywhere one turns, there are images of the past. Regardless of religious conviction or affiliation, or whether one has no particular faith background, these low times are very real.
This sadness, which can be called “holiday blues” has been recognized by mental health professionals and clergy alike for many years. Church pastors of all denominations are very much aware that Advent, which includes the four weeks before Christmas, when the birth of Jesus is celebrated, can be increasingly sad for many members of their congregations, both old and young alike. This personal sadness can lead to real depression when the causes are not recognized and expressed. While for most, the pain of loss lessens over time, the holidays are weeks filled with daily reminders of what is gone forever. Studies show that most adults, in the course of their lifetime, have or will experience some sadness during this season of the year when memories of both good and bad times overflow.
Children and youth are not immune to the holiday blues, especially if they have experienced the death of a loved one, the loss of a pet, or the loss of friends or family due to a move or other change in circumstances. They may feel confused by their feelings and have difficulty expressing their sadness. This may manifest as withdrawal from normal activities, or other changes in behavior such as anger, acting out, or changes in eating habits for example.
The Kane Area Ministerial Association, a consortium of the clergy and lay leaders of the many Kane Area Churches, including both Protestant and Catholic, has planned a non-denominational Blue Christmas service to be held on Friday, December 20, at 7 PM at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 427 Chase Street in Kane.
The candlelight service in the sanctuary of St. John’s will include times of music, prayer and meditation, and comforting words on this, the longest and darkest night of the year, and the first day of winter, when personal energy may be at its lowest. The service is intended to give solace and to lift up the hearts of those who are experiencing sadness and grief.