Blue Christmas

Blue is more than a colour. And that is why Whitehorse United Church minister, Beverly Brazier, is planning another Blue Christmas service.

“Often when your life isn’t at all like a Hallmark Christmas card … the conclusion that you draw is that there is something wrong with you,” begins Brazier, resting her chin in one hand as she leans onto her desk.

After a moment’s pause she settles back and, in a voice as comfortable as an easy chair, she says, “I would want to say to people, I want them to feel and know in their hearts that waiting … in silence – spiritual and otherwise – is an authentic stance … an authentic, faithful place to be.”

She leans in again, her chin resting in her hand as if, somehow, it is easier to contemplate that way.

“I like the tradition of advent … that we’re waiting …

“Certainly in scripture, half of scripture is written in exile.”

Her expression is kind; her voice, soft as she conveys a feeling of longing … of waiting.

“I think we’re in ‘that place’ lots,” she adds.

“It’s an OK place to sit and wait. During one of the hardest advents in Brazier’s life, while she was in that place of waiting, herself, she recalls a choir singing The Light Will Come, and she says that she hung on to that promise “for dear life”.

Brazier understands that stance in the lives of others, the one where people acknowledge that “until it [‘the light’] comes, I’m going to keep on keeping on … and that’s OK.”

She says it’s easy for people to associate “blue” with death, with a loss. It may also be the loss of a job, the loss of health. And sometimes, she says, it comes with a personal depression, “part of the rhythm of living,” a rhythm familiar to us all at one time or another.

The service on Dec. 6 happens to fall on the anniversary of the Ècole Polytechnique massacre in Montréal, as well.

Some parts of the service will be in French, she says.

And the service touches those who find themselves so very far from home at Christmas, away from the familiar faces and the embrace of family and friends.

The church plans to provide a respite for souls experiencing “blue” on their journey. “You need a place where it’s OK to be sad,” she says.

“It’s also for people who are walking with someone who’s going through a hard time.”

It’s for anybody of any faith or of no faith at all. It’s for everyone.

“There will be soft music and low lights … and silence.” A moment of silence punctuates her thought.

“As I get older, words are good, but silence is really good,” she says, laughing gently as if “silence” was an old friend she was welcoming back for a visit.

The few words that will be spoken, will be chosen carefully. It’s a time where people don’t have to speak or where they can greet others afterwards over tea and coffee and the light refreshments that will be provided in the Upper Room.

Beverly Brazier would like people to know that this is a safe place. The Blue Christmas service will begin at 4 p.m. on Dec. 6 at Whitehorse United Church.

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