This season stirs many different memories and feelings for each of us.
We emphasize words like merry, jolly, festive and the like, and, hopefully, all of us get at least a bit of that with everything else that comes with the busyness and nostalgia that is so much a part of Christmas in our culture.
But sometimes our personal circumstances make it more difficult to find the ‘merry’ in Merry Christmas.
Certainly serious illness and recent bereavement throw a pall over the festivities. Maybe other factors — financial strains, distant family members, a recent relocation, the breakdown of a significant relationship, or other stresses and strains — make us feel out of step with the energy and enjoyment others seem to be having around us.
The lively spirit of others only emphasizes the deflation of our own spirit.
The Blue Christmas Service at Cumberland United is offered especially for those needing an understanding space to find some support and solace this time of year.
The service will be held at the church this Saturday at 2 p.m. and is open to everyone in the community. The invitation is also extended to those who wish to come to support others.
Although this is not required, those who come are encouraged to bring a photo or memento to lay on the Communion Table in loving memory or living tribute to someone you are carrying in your heart or — if illness or bereavement is not what draws you — a small object that is a symbol of the loss you are feeling.
The music and readings will fit for the mood of the occasion and there will be simple refreshments afterwards for those who wish to stay and connect with others.
Perhaps the Blue Christmas Service will be the only activity you feel able to participate in this year. Or perhaps it will allow you to process some of your feelings so that you can find more freedom and even a little joy in the other services and activities of the Advent and Christmas season.
Cumberland United Church is at the corner of First and Penrith, the tall white church with the red roof.
— Cumberland United Church