The Longest Night

The Longest Night or Blue Christmas is a Service for those who mourn. Typically held on the Winter Solstice, (the longest night of the year) this service is a peaceful and quiet time for those of us who struggle during this "happy holiday" due to a loss, illness, and uncertainty. For me, 2018 brought the first Christmas since the loss of my father and grandmother. I felt financially and emotionally stressed and particularly anti-social.   

I brought those feelings and anxieties together and created an altarscape that I felt evoked peace, which is what I truely desired for myself and those around me. The draping of the dark fabrics represents to me the nights sky, a place that is silent and awe-inspiring. 

IMG_0982.JPG

The pastor gave me the prompt of "In the Bleak Midwinter" for the service theme - here’s a link to a beautiful YouTube video of the song: https://youtu.be/U0aL9rKJPr4

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

The descriptions in the first verse, of the earth hard as iron and the water like stone, inspired the literal stones I placed around the altar candles. I tucked little bits of hay in the stones to add texture and call back to the humble stable where Jesus was born.

IMG_0977.JPG

I pray that you had a peaceful and refreshing holiday amidst the chaos. Feel free to use this design to inspire your next worship service. If you would like more information about The Longest Night check out these links: 

UMC Blue Christmas/Longest Night article  

Ministry Matters Longest Night article  

Rethink Church Longest Night article