Blue Christmas is a worship service designed for those who might be grieving during the holidays and want a space to hold that during the season. This liturgy uses the candles of the Advent wreath (hope, peace, love joy) to reflect on loss. Start with all candles lit, and extinguish each one in turn (but leave the Christ candle lit throughout). The light of Christ remains, even through our loss.

A LIGHT GONE FROM A LOSS OF HOPE

We extinguish this first candle to acknowledge all of those who have lost hope in the world due to pain, sorrow, intolerance, and injustice.  We seek freedom for those in slavery, justice for those harmed by oppression,   deep and abiding peace for those who live in daily fear because they live in war torn areas of the world.  We pray for all of those trapped in the cycles of poverty and abuse, both in our own communities and abroad.

As we extinguish this candle, we pray that your vision of a Kingdom of beloved community might be our vision as well, and that we might know how to extend grace to both oppressor and oppressed.  We pray for the promise of Hope to return to our hearts, and to the world.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

A LIGHT GONE FROM A LOSS OF PEACE

We extinguish this second candle to acknowledge all of those who have lost peace in the past year, and for all the ways that dis-ease has affected our lives in the past year.  Whether the diagnosis is cancer or Alzheimer’s or mental illness or the pain of old age, we remember in this moment all who are suffering from the effects of dis-ease.  In the lost of peace to our hearts and our souls, we grieve for a world that becomes fraught with anxiety, stress and chaos.

As we extinguish this candle, we pray that we can find peace for ourselves as we watch our loved ones suffer, and healing for ourselves, if we are the ones experiencing illness.  May we be comforted in the hope of your eternal healing and grace which brings that peace that passes understanding.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers.

A LIGHT GONE FROM A LOSS OF JOY

We extinguish this third candle for all those who think they have lost their joy this holiday season. We acknowledge all of the ways that our lives and our world are broken by separation.  Whether it is our military service people who will be away from family this holiday, or refugees who have left families in war torn countries. It could be families torn apart by the separation of addiction, or  parents separated due to miscarriage or still birth who are grieving loss of precious dreams. Whether it is a physical separation, or an emotional or spiritual separation, we remember all those in this moment who are feeling the loss of joy due to separation in their lives, and we remember in this moment all the ways that we too are feeling separated from your joy O God.

As we distinguish this can, we pray for dawn to break through the darkness of our nights, for the joy to return in the morning with the constancy of your love and grace.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers.

A LIGHT GONE FROM A LOSS OF LOVE

We extinguish this candle to acknowledge the loss of love that we have experienced in the past year.  Whether from the death of a loved one or a friend, the loss of a job, or an unexpected divorce or broken relationship, we remember in this moment all of the ways that we have experienced loss those we love.  

As we extinguish this candle, we pray that our grief from the loss can be comforted by your love, and that the empty place in our hearts will be filled with a greater love, deeper in understanding and truth. We pray for Immanuel – god with us – to carry us when our love seems lost or far away.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers.

(can follow with a homily that reminds us that Christ came into darkness).

CMK (c) 2018

permission to use with attribution.

One thought on “Words for Blue Christmas Reverse Advent Wreath

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