Local Church Offers Blue Christmas

Dec 18, 2009

The holidays are a time for celebration, family and exchanging gifts. That's how the conventional wisdom goes. But for a lot of people, it can actually be harder than most other times of year. As Emily McCord reports, one local church is offering services to acknowledge that it's not always a Merry Christmas for everyone.

The Blue Christmas worship service at Corinth Presbyterian Church in Dayton isn't that different than other holiday services. There are still hymns, a sermon, and prayers, but it isn't exactly joyous.

"It's the mood of the service that's different. There isn't that expectation that you'll be happy," says Reverend Dave Collins.

Collins says that the holidays can bring up memories of those that have passed away. Also, families are facing more financial hardships than in years past.

"The thing about Christmas or any holiday, it kind of brings up all of those losses and hurts and anxieties. If you're going to hurt, that's the time you're going to feel that pain," says Collins.

Collins felt that Blue Christmas was a way to help people share their grief. During the service, each person is asked to light a candle to commemorate a loss. He says all of the lit candles act as a visual reminder for people, so they'll know they're not alone.

"Hope is a fragile thing, but i think it's real, and when we acknowledge how fragile it is and how easily broken, we realize how special hope is. So, that's what I hope the service is about, not some Santa Claus-everything-is-going-to-be-perfect kind of hope, it's real hope," says Collins.

Blue Christmas started three years ago by Collins and his wife, who was the co-pastor at Corinth Presbyterian. Collins says that while the service is Christian, it is open to people with of all faiths.