Until recently I never really thought much about the fact that there are lonely people at Christmas time. How can they be lonely? There are all the parties and presents and family gatherings. But not everyone has family or friends around. The very fact that everyone else seems to be having so much fun with friends and family makes it even worse. One small church has a special Christmas dinner on Christmas Day specifically advertised as being for those who are “Alone for Christmas? New in Town? Away from Family?“.
One reason some people feel lonely is that their friends or family have recently died. We do a “Christmas Memorial Service” in the Community Hall in town. It’s a service that some refer to as a “Blue Christmas” service. Sometimes people feel guilty that they are having fun and forgetting about the person that recently died. Others are remembering all the special Christmas traditions shared together, and it makes them feel lonely.
We plan a service we hope will give them opportunity to pause and remember. Hopefully they will leave encouraged. We take time to remember our loved ones who have passed away recently. We invite people to RSVP with us so we can personalize a nice candle with their loved one’s name. During the service we then invite them to come up and light a candle in memory of their loved one. They take that candle home after the service and can light it during the Christmas season as a reminder of their loved one. A number of people expressed much gratitude after our service last year. Our next one will take place in just over a week.
People are lonely. This is one way to help those who are lonely because they miss their loved ones.