Article Contributed by
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will again be offering a ‘Blue Christmas’ service for individuals who have difficulties with the holiday season. Anyone who is struggling to find solace and peace as the darkness of the Winter Solstice approaches is invited to attend the evening service on Saturday, December 19th at 5pm.
The Rev Luke Fodor, Rector at St. Luke’s notes that Christmas is not easy for many people.
“The Christmas that confronts us at the store and on the radio may be a marketing success, but it fails us in the ways that matter.” he explains. “Whose family really looks like those greeting cards we receive in the mail–with only smiling faces gathered around a glittering tree? Most homes cannot measure up to the media’s stylized version of a holiday celebration. On December 19th, we’ll honor those ‘blue’ feelings that all of us feel during these dark winter nights. This service is for individuals’ who need something more honest, some place more inviting, and someone courageous enough to walk us through the dark nights and our struggles, instead of only trying to distract us from them.”
Intended to give an opportunity for those from any faith tradition (or none) to gather in a safe and quiet space to seek healing, the simple, contemplative service will consist of meditative music, candle lighting, communion, scripture, healing prayers and anointing.
Fodor illustrates the intention of the Blue Christmas service through the example of a popular modern Christmas story:
“Most of never stop to think about why the cartoon A Charlie Brown Christmas works, we just know it seems to fit our mood.” he explains. “Something about those sad, little characters trying so hard to get Christmas right conveys exactly what this season can feel like. They rush to prepare for the Christmas pageant, with never enough time or people to play the parts. In spite of themselves and their hopes, they always end up arguing with each other as they put up the decorations, untangle strings of lights, and look for the never-to-be-found perfect tree. They don’t have the right presents. They don’t seem to have enough money. When they gather around Charlie Brown’s disappointing tree, their spirits threaten to break along with its branches.
But then one of them remembers a story—that a baby is born in unsettling circumstances, to an unwed mother in an occupied country, where rooms and food and peace are in short supply, and yet where God is palpably present. “Fear not” says the angel Gabriel (by the way of Linus van Pelt), “for unto you on this day in the city of David, a Savior is born,” to a family as poor and as lost and as scared as yours—and suddenly nothing is as cold or as sad as it once was, at least for a moment. Christmas comes, God’s light shines where it is most dark, and through the most broken family, something holy, bright and beautiful can be born.”
St Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at 410 North Main Street, Jamestown (Corner of Fourth and North Main). For more information about the Blue Christmas service or any other program offered by St. Luke’s please contact the church office at 716-483-6405.