Blue Christmas Service--Christmas for the rest of us

By Rev. Shay Craig and Rev. Brenda Roger

Blue Christmas Service, 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 2900 Canal Blvd., in Hays.

One of the most pervasive Christmas images is of a dark night sky, a field of navy blue, broken only by a single star, yellow and gold, so small and yet so powerful against the darkness. This is a perfect image to describe the annual Blue Christmas Service.

For some of us --many of us?--the Christmas holidays are a time when our personal skies are blue. We remember how things used to be, and this year does not measure up. We imagine how the holidays would--or should--be, and this year does not measure up.  Christmas season is a time when the world tells us through Christmas music and songs, social media, and other communications that we should feel jolly, upbeat, and excited for the upcoming holiday festivities. And when we don’t, we struggle alone, not realizing that others are experiencing the same emotions and difficulties.

Rev. Brenda Roger

The Blue Christmas Service is the star that shines in that darkness. It’s the Christmas service for the rest of us. And there are a lot of us. It’s a few minutes away from the happy-clappy Christmas messaging; it’s permission to feel what we really feel; it’s a vocabulary to think and talk about it.

Blue Christmas is a non-denominational service with familiar and peaceful music, scripture, and an opportunity to offer up prayers that are appropriate for what we are really feeling. 

For Pastor Brenda Roger of Trinity Lutheran Church, it is a service of remembrance. “The Bible is full of life stories from the mountain top to the valleys, moments of great joy and depths of great sorrow. Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

“This will be a service of remembrance or acknowledgement of what burdens you. Space to light a candle in memory of a loved one. There will be scripture readings, reflection, song, and prayer. If you desire at time of individual prayer, we are available to offer this for you. This service is not lengthy and is designed to bring you comfort and hope and to know that there is light amid the darkness.”

The Rev. Shay Craig, the vicar at St. Andrew’s and St. Michael’s Episcopal Churches in Hays, says, “Just about everyone I know can benefit from this service. There is just a little bit of magic in this service. As many times as I experience it, I always come out feeling comforted, consoled and just a little bit more resilient for the season. You leave with support resources that are available in our community--and cocoa.  What could be better than that?”

Blue Christmas is a ministry of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church and Trinity Lutheran Church.  It will be at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 2900 Canal Blvd., Hays. For more information, email Pastor Brenda at Pastor@trinityhays.org or Mother Shay at Rev.Shay.Craig@gmail.com.