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Litanies: “Litany of Comfort for Blue Christmas

Please speak the response when you hear: "...this season brings forth many feelings"

Response: We find comfort in naming these feelings; we find some peace in being together

All around us are bright lights and merry messages
Yet in our heart not all is joyful
There is grief with the loss of relationships,
Those we love no longer with us because of death
Those we have loved who are estranged from us
Those we love yet experience a diminishment of intimacy
There is grief with the loss and change of relationship,
Grief, bittersweet for it is a consequence of the presence of love
...this season brings forth many feelings

Response: We find comfort in naming these feelings; we find some peace in being together

All around us are bright lights and merry messages
Yet in our heart not all is joyful
There may be pain in our bodies,
Physical pain as a natural outcome of aging
Physical pain that presents itself in illness
Pain in the body that forces us to change and imposes limitations
Pain, bittersweet for physical experience includes both pain and pleasure and
...this season brings forth many feelings

Response: We find comfort in naming these feelings; we find some peace in being together

All around us are bright lights and merry messages
Yet in our heart not all is joyful
There may be anger and regret with the memories we hold,
Anger with past experiences of hurt or abuse,
Regret of our own actions that may have cause hurt to others,
Anger that life has not turned out as we imagined,
Regret for what we might have said or done,
Anger and regret, bittersweet in presenting the possibility for healing and forgiveness,
...this season brings forth many feelings

Response: We find comfort in naming these feelings; we find some peace in being together

All around us are bright lights and merry messages
Yet in our heart not all is joyful
There may be uncertainty that accompanies transition and change,
Uncertainty of what the future may bring with changes,
Uncertainty of direction or purpose after retirement or change of vocation,
Uncertainty when changing residence, by choice or necessity,
Uncertainty, bittersweet for change, a constant in life, let’s us know we are alive, and change along with
...this season brings forth many feelings

Response: We find comfort in naming these feelings; we find some peace in being together

All around us are bright lights and merry messages
Yet in our heart not all is joyful
There may be a sense of hopelessness,
Hopelessness in the face of so much violence and suffering
Hopelessness with attempts to heal our aching world and ourselves
Hopelessness in witnessing what we have not managed to accomplish
Hopelessness, bittersweet for its longing reminds us of our capacity for hope and the human spirit’s tenacity and courage that rest deep within each of us as
...this season brings forth many feelings

Response: We find comfort in naming these feelings; we find some peace in being together

All around us are bright lights and merry messages
Yet in our heart not all is joyful
There is loneliness,
Loneliness when we find ourselves alone after being long-partnered,
Loneliness when we are separated from loved ones,
Loneliness when we move to a new community and struggle to find our way,
Loneliness that never seems filled even with good company,Loneliness that is an ever-present aching in the heart,
Loneliness, bittersweet for it is felt only when we have known connectedness and
...this season brings forth many feelings

Response: We find comfort in naming these feelings; we find some peace in being together

All around us are bright lights and merry messages
Yet in our heart not all is joyful
We know grief and pain,
We know anger and regret,
We know hopelessness and loneliness,
We know all these feeling, we name them, we live them for such is the human experience
That love presents us with the possibility of being hurt, with the grief of loss,
That connection holds the potential of loneliness and uncertainty,
That forgiveness can begin to heal anger and regret
That being alive is a courageous act in which we engage all of our emotions and
...this season brings forth many feelings

Response: We find comfort in naming these feelings; we find some peace in being together

Source:

Written by Rev. Debra Faulk for Blue Christmas Vespers Service, December 2007, Don Heights Unitarian Congregation, Toronto, Canada.

Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.

For more information contact worshipweb@uua.org.

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Last updated on Tuesday, February 26, 2013.

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