Tomorrow, Friday December 21, 2012 is winter solstice. A few Anchorage churches are having Blue Christmas and/or Longest Night services.
The purpose of such services is to bring solace to those grieving or challenged in other ways this time of year. Services can be accompanied by music, quiet, appropriate readings, and a time to recognize or speak the name of the loved one of concern. Grace Chapel in the Boston area skillfully uses this graphic to carry the theme of this evening service.[img_assist|nid=163096|title=Blue Christmas Theme as Conveyed by Grace Chapel|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=4000|height=247]
St Mark Lutheran is offering such a service at 6 p.m. Their announcement in ADN noted: This service will include readings, music, candle lighting & silence and will focus on the hope and healing God offers to each one of us. For those dealing grief or illness, the holidays can be anything but happy and a painful reminder of what has been lost.
More information about this service can be viewed by clicking HERE (Link content has been updated since the original post) .
St Mary’s Episcopal Church is also offering a Blue Christmas service at 7 p.m. but did not offer any details about their service at the time I published this post.
St John UMC has a Longest Night service and bonfire scheduled for 7 p.m. this evening.
Turnagain UMC had a notice in the Anchorage Daily news of a Longest Night service scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight but there was no mention of it on their website. I’d call the church to confirm first.
There may be other Blue Christmas or Longest Night services in Anchorage but I was unable to find them through searching. If it’s not mentioned prominently on a church’s website, Google is unlikely to find it. I think Blue Christmas and Longest Night services are appropriate linking the solstice, and the longest physical night of our year, with the darkness we all seem to feel in our hearts at various times in our lives. Churches offer spiritual solace during solstice. I’m glad a few Anchorage churches do.