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Blue? Yes, blue as in the blues. As in "I am feeling blue." Not everyone is up and cheery for the Christmas holidays.

Dealing with the death of a loved one, facing life after divorce or separation, coping with the loss of a job, living with cancer or some other disease that puts a question mark over the future, and a number of other human situations make parties and joviality painful for many people in our congregations and communities.

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There is a growing attentiveness to the needs of people who are blue at Christmas. Increasing numbers of churches are creating sacred space for people living through dark times. Such services are reflective, accepting where we really are, and holding out healing and hope.

Some churches hold a service of worship around the longest night of the year, which falls on or about Dec. 21, the Winter Solstice. This invites making some connections between the long nights just before Christmas, and the struggle with darkness and grief faced by those living with loss.

Are you living through dark times? Want to support those who are feeling blue? Then join us in church on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 4 p.m. for our Blue Christmas Service. This candlelight service will include scripture, song and time for quiet meditation.

AMY PARKER

The writer is the parish administrator at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, located at 1 St. Marys Church Road in Abingdon.

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