Local church will hold Blue Christmas Service today
A special Christmas service is being held at St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church at 6 p.m. Friday evening.
The congregation of St. Augustine is inviting people in the community who are dealing with loss during the holidays to come to the Blue Christmas Service, which will be a “quiet, reflective” service that will provide healing prayer and moral support to the community, according to Vicar Don Wagner.
“The reason we’re doing this is because there’s always a need for this kind of thing, at this time, for people who have experienced a variety of losses throughout the year,” Wagner said.
Those losses, according to Wagner, aren’t strictly related to the loss of loved ones. It can mean the loss of a job or something else of importance.
There is a general expectancy that Christmas is filled with holiday cheer and precious moments spent with friends and family. It may be for that very reason that losses, such as the death of a loved one or a layoff, can be felt acutely around the holidays.
“This time is especially difficult for people who have experienced the loss of a loved one within the past three years,” Aiken Regional Medical Centers Director of Business Development Whitney O’Connor previously told the Aiken Standard.
O’Connor, who works at the Aurora Pavilion, said depression rates sometimes spike around the holidays for this reason.
Wagner said the Friday service is his congregation’s “gift” and an “offering” to the community.
“The rationale is that people do hurt at this time of year, and it’s important to own that and name that,” Wagner said. ”…We need to offer people a space and a place and a time to come and be themselves. If they’re hurting, there’s no need to put on a brave face. Just listen to God…In some capacity, God hears.”
The Blue Christmas Service is open to the public.
“Whether you’re from our church family or not, this is a place where you can be,” Wagner said. “You can mourn, you can cry, you can laugh.”
St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church is located at 1630 Silver Bluff Road.
Want to go?
WHAT: Blue Christmas Service
WHEN: 6 p.m. Friday
WHERE: St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, 1630 Silver Bluff Road