God did not wait till hearts were pure. By the Spirit of knowledge and reverence of the Eternal One, He will take pleasure in honoring the Eternal. the poor, victims of war, the sick and dying. “Yes.” We hear your, “Yes.” Tissues at the prayer rail and in pews Affirmation of Faith for Christmas And forgive us our trespasses, and not like others Will be made known Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The following passage from Psalms may be read by one or all persons. The service itself is very simple – a mixture of carols (sometimes just selected verses) and readings to narrate the Christmas story; prayers which acknowledge pain and emptiness alongside the Christian hope; a reflection which gently speaks of light in darkness. In the light of God’s love, we claim God’s gift of hope. She writes this after hearing that others in the church feel the service is too much of ‘a downer’ at Christmastime. This special service usually includes an opportunity to light a candle in memory of loved ones who have died. It’s a worship service scheduled around the winter solstice (the longest night of the calendar year) and it just happens to fall on or around December 21 st every year. — Mary Oliver (from Thirst, Beacon Press, Boston, 2006) Knowing my sufferings are not like his As Christ bore his for all We love you, we need you, we trust you, People to greet and pass out programs God is strong. Merciful God, Those who hunger will be filled When held on the winter solstice, 21 December, this service might be called ‘The Longest Night Service’ or a ‘Solstice Service.’ Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. We gather in the midst of suffering to remember God is good. ~Psalm 65:5, Song Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Those who are weary will find rest Lighting the Christ Candle Post was not sent - check your email addresses! It acknowledges that, for many people, Christmas is a time of loneliness, sorrow, alienation, sadness. With nothing more than the breath of His mouth, He will destroy evil. Thanks be to God! Symbolically, many of these services are held on or around December 21, the date of the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. turned water into wine. Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription to Worship Words so you are sure not to miss notification of new worship resources. Drive the dark of doubt away. ♥ accessible God came when the need was deep and great. You may also like to include a Kyrie. And on this child from David’s line, the Spirit of the Eternal One will alight and rest. One person praying as they place their hand on the blue strips of paper. In this I believe By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. We cannot wait till the world is sane Our suffering changes our experience of you and the celebration of your birth. Donne Davis Says: December 22, 2012 at 1:23 am | Reply. With Dignity Blue strips of paper in the pews Suggestion- a soloist singing Cry out to Jesus by Third Day, Instrumental underscore following the instructions. the lonely, the addicted, the abused, Evergreen clippings place at the prayer rail A Blue Christmas service provides an opportunity to address the sadness, the pain of loss, and even the anger that can accompany the season. A table with 4 blue pillar candles and 1 white pillar candle It’s a powerful statement, because for that hour the church is willing to set aside its own busyness and show that it cares about people like me, the ones who are drowning in tinsel, as well as those who are celebrating and happy. This special service usually includes an opportunity to light a candle in memory of loved ones who have died. Christmas has been very painful since my daughter died. Hallelujah! Anchor us in your faithful promises. Some are lonely, struggling financially, or in conflict with another. Joyful music leads us sunward, in the triumph song of life. and prisoners cried out for release. We are not alone and we have every reason to hold on to hope. A Longest Night of the Year Service is a deeply meaningful way a church can companion those who struggle during the holiday season as well as acknowledge the pain experienced by many world-wide. In the mystery of the Word made Flesh, It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. All I will ever suffer If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Some come because they are mourning the death of a loved one. Mortals, join the mighty chorus which the morning stars began; ~ Psalm 28:7. (give contact information), *********** It is a profoundly Christian thing to do. and the darkness will not overcome it. In the light of God’s love, we claim God’s gift of lament. Only companionship, I pray for the grace to bear my sufferings as Christ bore his for me O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest. Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest, ♥ inclusive. When held on the winter solstice, 21 December, this service might be called ‘The Longest Night Service’ or a ‘Solstice Service.’ Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. ♥ relevant Thou our Father, Christ our brother, Suggestion- a soloist singing Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant. Leader: God of mercy and compassion, there are those among us who are grieving over what might have been. Lyrics and source. God is near. In this I am made new With the Winter Solstice literally being the longest night of the year it provides a natural opportunity for such a gathering. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? We ask this in your name Jesus, praying as you taught us…, Everyone prays It’s often offered December 21, the longest night of the year. God is good. Light one of the candles following each passage from Psalms Forgiveness, I pray for the grace to bear my sufferings as Christ bore his for me For to share our grief, to touch our pain, It is also the place where our fears come to life, where we dread the future, worry over our decisions, and where our vulnerabilities feel most profound… Into the dark and forgotten places of our world, into the parts of our lives we fear or worry about, and into the darkness of our hearts, into the places which we can hardly bear to recognise, the light comes.”, ♥ thoughtful Hold us, and all who weep this holy season throughout the world- So we called it Longest Night and chose to hold it on the longest night of the year, 21st December. ~Psalm 86:1. Opening Prayer Prayer after everyone is seated. Will be made whole This candle represents our suffering and the suffering of the world. Where I am in Moline, Illinois, the longest night of 2012 will begin at 4:35 on Friday, December 21. It recognizes that many of those who attend such a service are ill at ease in conventional church services. With just a word, He will end wickedness and abolish oppression. ~ Psalm 22:1-2. Amen, Song Wherever you are, I suggest you start this service half an hour before sunset. One person reads what each candle represents We recognize our wounds and cry out to God. Shelter and sustain us all with your healing and hope, your peace and light. Sung slowly and carefully, this could be really beautiful in the setting of this service. Suggestion- The Only Real Peace I Have by Allison Speer. ( Log Out / and hope But it says YOU ARE NOT ALONE in your pain, and in doing so proclaims the message of Christmas: Emmanuel, God with us. Pre-Service Set Up ALL: God did not wait till the world was ready, A brief message of hope is offered based on the Isaiah reading, Candle Lighting Humility In this season of light, our hearts are veiled in sorrow and shadow In this season of rejoicing, we come to you weary and grieving ( Log Out / Change ). Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; In the midst of our suffering, help us to worship you in spirit and in truth. Instrumental underscore- O Come, O Come Emmanuel To a world like ours, of anguished shame, Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? A Longest Night of the Year Service is a deeply meaningful way a church can companion those who struggle during the holiday season as well as acknowledge the pain experienced by many world-wide.