On the evening of Gaudate Sunday, the 3rd Sunday of Advent, three of the South Coast Convocation priests gathered together to film a “Longest Night” service. This service, also often called “Blue Christmas” to written to bring together those feelings of grief and loss that can accompany (or, at times, override) our feelings of joy during the holiday season. The best description of this service, however, comes from the bidding prayer that begins the liturgy:
Welcome to this “Longest Night” service. The name comes from the
season– during this season in December, we experience the shortest day
and the longest night of the year. But the name also applies to the feeling
that a number of us have about this season. It is the “long dark night of the
soul,” the “winter of our discontent.” It is a time when the memories of past
experiences and the pain of present experiences can become
overwhelming. In this service, we will have some music which is
appropriate to the season, recognizing that this is not necessarily a season
of joy. We will invite you to meditate on the pain and anguish you bring,
and to offer your pain to the Christ child. And we trust that you will find
hope and comfort in knowing that you are not alone.
Please join us in praying for those who have suffered loss, either this year or in years past, and especially for those who are coming to this holiday season with fresh wounds and recent losses. Please, also, pray for us all in these times, that we may grieve well and open our hearts to the presence of God in dark times.
Here is the link to the service: https://youtu.be/8rmsQCCwdfo
Click here for the bulletin: Longest Night Service 2020