What is the Longest Night and What Happened to Blue Christmas?

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This year darkness seems especially impregnable.  The impact of Hurricane Harvey is settling onto our community as we move from responsive mode to recovery; the trauma is taking new forms.  Globally, there is talk of nuclear war, climate change, Middle East destruction from years of war.  Nationally we are living with strained politics and economic uncertainty.  We are living with gloom.

December 21 is the winter solstice, typically regarded as the longest night of the year.  This year we are moving our Blue Christmas Eucharist to December 21 at 7 p.m. in the Nave and framing it as the Longest Night.  St. Stephen’s is doing this because December 24th falls on a Sunday; it is also the fourth Sunday of Advent.  In order to accommodate this observance of our grief, need for healing and reconciliation, our staff decided to offer a service engaging this reality on December 21.  On December 24 at 10:30 a.m., we will offer one Eucharist to observe the fourth Sunday of Advent, and two Christmas Eve services at 5 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.  There will be no 7:45 a.m. or 8:30 a.m. Eucharists on this day.

We will observe the Longest Night to affirm the hope of life and light coming among us.  Join us.

The Reverend Lisa Hunt, Rector