What is World Day of Prayer?
Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action
Imagine Christians from over 170 countries coming together in spirit, uniting to pray for relevant issues affecting women and children. This is a reality: the movement has been active for nearly 100 years. Each year, a different participating country writes the service. The World Day of Prayer is traditionally celebrated on the first Friday of March, though communities can choose other dates.
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March 5, 2021
Blue Christmas Service Date will be posted here.
Blue Christmas, also called the Longest Night in the Western Christian tradition, is a day in the Advent season marking the longest night of the year. On this day, some churches hold a church service which recognizes that the holidays are sometimes “blue” or filled with difficult feelings around painful life events such as death, disease, poverty, or abuse. Some services may only honor people who have lost loved ones in that year, similar to an All Saint’s Day service. The Holy Eucharist is traditionally a part of the service of worship on this day. This worship service is traditionally held on or around the longest night of the year, which falls on or about December 21, the Winter Solstice. There is an interesting convergence for this day as it is also the traditional feast day for Saint Thomas the Apostle. This linkage invites making some connections between Thomas’s struggle to believe the tale of Jesus’ resurrection, the long nights just before Christmas, and the struggle with darkness and grief faced by those living with loss.
The Worship often includes opportunities for expression of grief and pain as well as an opportunity to focus on the promise of hope. Candles, arranged as an Advent wreath, are lit at numerous occasions during the service; empty chairs are reserved as a way of commemorating those who have been lost during the previous year. The images of the winter solstice which include the longest night losing to the increasing longer day after midnight is a significant part of the imagery used in the elements of this particular worship event. There are growing resources and popularity around this tradition due to the relevance for many who struggle to find joy and hope during festive seasons.
The 2021 Lenten Service can be viewed on Facebook Live, by following this link.