Blue Christmas Service

Ideas for using this service can be found here


Opening Responses

We light our first candle

a single light that the deepest darkness cannot conquer –

small – insignificant

but a sign of hope.

Reader 2
or All

Let it speak to us of the tiny flame of hope buried within us –

the stubborn little light that refuses to be extinguished

by all that life has thrown at it.


We light our second candle

a companion to the first –

equally small – equally insignificant –

but witnessing to hope that another light brings.

Reader 2 
or All

Let it speak to us of the lights of companionship –

of our families and our friends –

of strangers

and kindnesses found in unexpected places that restored our hope in human nature.


We light our third candle

recalling nights of watching and waiting –

sleepless – anxious

when dawn seemed to ebb further from the horizon

and hope seemed forlorn.

Reader 2
or All

Let it speak to us of the sureness of morning –

of the passing of darkness

of suffering –

and the promise of an eternal sunrise

dawning for those we have loved and lost

and dawning too for us –

though we may yet be in that darkest hour before the dawn.


We light our fourth candle –

marking the closing of the Advent season

and the immediacy of Christmas –

a time of peace and joy we may not ourselves feel able to welcome –

as our spirits dwell in dark and wintriness.

Reader 2 
or All

Let it speak to us of hope –

of being together in this place of healing and wholenesss –

of our companionship this night

at the turning of the year –

of faith that we and those we have loved and lost

are held eternally in the hand of the One who brought light into being –

and who knows each one of us by name.


Scripture Readings
A few suggestions can be found here...

Cloth for the cradle – remembering

People are invited to write the name of the person or the situation causing them pain on a strip of cloth and to hold them for a moment. There is no limit to the number of people they can remember in this way.

Once ready – gentle Christmas music plays as people are invited to put their cloths in the cradle.

Once all in place, “baby” is ceremonially placed in manger. (Maybe with words about the Child who came into the world of darkness to bring light – death > new life, etc…)


Christ light is lit (the people who walked in darkness? John 1?)

Closing Responses


Into the darkness of our gathering
we brought light –


To speak to us of a light stronger than darkness.



Our treasured memories woven to create cloth for a cradle –


A cloth enfolding the Child
who in turn enfolds our loved ones –
who enfold us.



We gathered as friends – as families – as strangers


We gathered in solidarity of sorrow

and prepare to part with the promise of compassionate remembering –
the cloth of our pains woven
into a symbol of hope and of love.



And may the God of all compassion –
himself acquainted with grief and anguish of heart
walk alongside each of us over Christmas
reminding us that the life started in a stable in Bethlehem
opened the way to eternal life for us and for those we love.

And may the Lord bless us and keep us –
The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious to us.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace.



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