Saturday , 25 September 2021

Blue Christmas goes virtual in combating isolation

The 8th Annual Blue Christmas service was hosted online this year by the Vermilion and District Ministerial Association.

Local churches previously came together at St. Olga’s Ukrainian Catholic Church to offer an alternative service for people to take part in from home.

“We felt it was important (particularly this year) to recognize that for many of you Christmas is going to be not only different, but painful in a new and poignant way. The losses that we have experienced this year are many and for those of you have lost loved ones there is likely a very tender spot in your heart,” said Elizabeth Metcalfe, Reverend of St. Savior’s Anglican Church.

“Our lives have all been changed by loneliness, isolation, and fear. Although we are separated by distance, it is our hope and prayer that you will feel the all-encompassing welcoming of God and encouragement to seek peace in our journey.”

She said that each loss is unique, and whether it is a recent or long time loss of a loved one, that people have also experienced loss of relationships, health, employment, or trust in others.

They were coming together to mourn the loss of relationships, whether known or sudden. She said some people were unable to say farewell, and that letting tears flow is part of the journey of grief.

She said people were welcome to join in their service and come as they are.

A selection of other leaders gave prayers, scripture readings, and meditations. They shared messages on not pretending that ‘all is well’ when it’s not, experiencing both joy and sorrow together, uncertainty and emotions, and receiving comfort and help when needed.

Lynda Moses said that people can light a candle in remembrance or to celebrate the life of their loved ones.

“Lighting a candle can also be used as a symbol of guidance and a prayer too deep for words, or for new possibilities and hope in your own life,” said Moses.

To watch local clergy bring comfort to the community during the 2020 Blue Christmas video, you can visit https://vimeo.com/487082625?ref=em-share 

If you are interested in participating in another Candle Lighting Ceremony, you can tune into social media on December 18, as Reflections Funeral Home & Cremation Services Ltd. Will be posting one called a ‘Time for Reflection.’

About Angela Mouly

Angela comes to Lakeland Connect after leaving traditional newspaper where she spent the past four years reporting on community events. Her repertoire includes writing about history, politics, agriculture, sports, entertainment and art. She was the third place recipient of an AWNA General Excellence Award for “Best Front Page” during their 2016 Better Newspaper Competition. Angela has lived in rural Alberta all her life and in Vermilion for the past 15 years. She looks forward to continuing to serve and inform the Lakeland community by joining in people's many adventures and sharing their stories.