Nov 9, 2012

Candle-Lighting: Blue Christmas


Here’s a candle-lighting litany for a “Blue Christmas” or “Longest Night” service.  It was written by Bonnie Kinschner.

Candle Lighting

Candles are lit from a larger main candle.
The first candle is lit—

We light this first candle
in memory of those persons we have lost through death.
We remember them by name in our hearts or out loud.   (pause)
We give thanks for them and for their lives. (pause)
We treasure the memories in this difficult season .
 [Silence]

The second candle is lit—

We light this second candle
to ask for deliverance from the pain of loss.
All of the losses we face that bring sadness and darkness
to this time of year—
the loss of relationships,
the loss of health,
the loss of jobs,
the loss of financial security….  (pause)

We ask that God bring us comfort.
We realize that the pain of loss can be heightened at this time of year
and we ask for peace and renewal. (pause)

Lord, thank you for release.
 [Silence]

The third candle is lit—

We light this third candle for each of us. 
We offer up to God our pasts,
the times of regret and sorrow,
the times of mourning,
the difficult memories,
the times of grief and sadness,
and of loneliness and pain.  (pause)  

We ask that God take away the darkness. (pause)

“…the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”  Matthew 4: 16
 [Silence]

The fourth candle is lit—

We light this fourth candle as a symbol of hope and promise. 
We invite and celebrate the coming of the One
who promises us no more suffering…
the One who promises us light. (pause)

“…Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness
but will have the light of life.
[Silence]

Amen. Come Lord Jesus.

~ from Bonnie Kinschner’s Blue Christmas Service.  From One Mind Mental Illness Ministry, http://www.onemindmentalillnessministry.com/resources.html