I was part of "A Service of Remembrance and Support" as St. James in Higganum tonight.
Churches in the Cluster where I serve have been having these for several years. It is a chance, an opportunity, a stand for the fact that the holidays are painful and full of loss/suffering/mourning for many people. And all that pain takes place most vividly in a time when the culture tells us to 'be merry and gay!" OR ELSE!!!!
People come forward at the end and light a candle while the names of those they are remembering on this oh, so, dark night are read aloud.
It is a very moving service. And it meets a huge need. Many of the people there aren't members of St. James. They just know about the service and need it.
I was the one reading the names and one of them was of a wondrous woman who died this year, much too soon. She was a regular at education events and a deep thinker as well as a lovely, dear person. I almost couldn't say her name. But I did, because it needed to be said aloud and her husband and son needed to hear her name spoken.
Advent calls us to introspection and stillness and silence and remembrance and hope and leaning into the dim light of December.
This service does all that.
Call St. James to get a copy of it for your church next year.
Christmas brings the brightest and most shadowed parts of our hearts and minds to the surface.
We need to acknowledge the latter as much as the former parts....
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