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Blue Christmas

For those who're not looking forward to this holiday season no matter the reason, you're welcome to come along and join in any of these services of Hope and Healing.

Sydenham Methodist Church - 3rd December at 7.00

Knock Methodist Church - 10th December at 4.00

Mountpottinger Methodist Church - 10th December at 6.00.

The following is just an example of the purpose & format and may be different for any or all of the services mentioned above.

Also known as "The Service of the Longest Night" This service (the "Blue Christmas" name is taken from an Elvis Presley song) has become increasingly popular over recent years, as it provides an opportunity for the difficulties of life to be acknowledged in contrast to the celebration atmosphere of most Christmas events.

There are many different outlines for this type of reflective service, described variously as “for those who find celebration difficult at Christmas”, a “service of comfort and light, for when pain seems the only gift under the tree”, or “for those experiencing loss, loneliness or despair at Christmas”.

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. We keep the length to no more than 40 minutes, and leave times of silence, not rushing to fill every moment with word or song. We also stay seated throughout the whole service, to avoid any embarrassment of knowing when to stand.  As people arrive, each is given a service sheet with all the words and instructions needed, along with a candle. Quiet music plays for about 10/15 minutes before the advertised start time with the leader is place to create a calm, safe atmosphere.  Near the start, we invite people to place their candle near our crib scene as a symbol of the darkness they are carrying. Towards the end, they are invited to come and light it as a sign that even in the darkest night, the light of Christ offers hope. There was no pressure if people did not want to bring their candle or light it, but almost without exception they did so.


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