Not so jolly: Services embrace those feeling pain, sadness at Christmastime

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Some years, the Christmas season feels more like struggle than celebration. With that in mind, several local congregations and others have events planned to offer a supportive, understanding space to navigate the holidays.

Remembrance service is today

FOUNTAINTOWN — A community candlelight memorial service is set for 3-5 p.m. Saturady (Dec. 17) at Bell Mortuary and Crematory – Shangrila Chapel, 1444 W. U.S. 52, Fountaintown.

A short program includes a candle lighting ceremony to remember the ones you are missing this holiday season. Aferward there will be light refreshments.

Information: 317-861-6153

Longest Night service is Wednesday

CUMBERLAND — “Journey into the Light: A Longest Night Service of Hope” is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Cumberland First Baptist Church, 116 S. Muessing St., Indianapolis.

Timed with the Winter Solstice, it’s a service “acknowledging that for many people Christmas is a time of loneliness, alienation and sadness,” reads a release from the church. “This service offers a way for us to claim those feelings and still feel surrounded by the compassionate love of God. Together, we will journey into the light and feel the hope and peace found there.”

People are also invited to walk the outdoor illuminated labyrinth on church grounds before, after or in lieu of the service, 6-8 p.m.

Blue Christmas service is Wednesday

NEW PALESTINE — A Blue Christmas service is set for 7-8:45 p.m. Wednesday at Cross of Grace Lutheran Church, 3519 S. County Road 600W, New Palestine.

“For some people, the holidays do not bring happiness: they may be experiencing grief after the death of a loved one or following a divorce,” reads the church’s online description of the event. “Couples may have been unable to have a child, or have endured an emotional trauma. Maybe just the pressure of the holiday preparations is overwhelming.

“Our Blue Christmas worship is a chance to ‘do Christmas differently,’ honoring the struggle these days can be for so many of us while still finding hope in the midst of it all.”

A meal at 6 p.m. precedes the service.

The service will be accessible via livestream on YouTube; find a link at http://www.crossofgrace.org/events by scrolling to the Blue Christmas event.

Longest Night service offers remembrance

MT. COMFORT — “The Longest Night” service is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Mt. Comfort Church’s Mt. Comfort campus, 3179 N. County Road 600W, Greenfield.

It’s a service “of remembrance, comfort and hope for those who’ve experienced loss,” reads a description on the church’s website.

Information: mtcomfortchurch.com