St. Mary’s helping those experiencing holiday grief

Published 1:21 pm Friday, December 17, 2021

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church will host its annual Christmas service for those who have a little trouble with the holiday at 5:30 p.m. on Tues., Dec. 21.

The service, “When Christmas Feels Blue,” began in 2012, and was the idea of parishioners who had participated in a butterfly release after the loss of loved ones and found it helpful. They were looking for a similar event to help others who had suffered loss.

But Father Greg Hein said the service is for more than those grieving the recent loss of a loved one.

“With all that is going on in the world, there are so many reasons to feel sad, in spite of the Christmas season of joy,” Hein said.

As is the case in most worship services in the Episcopal Church, the service will include the Eucharist (communion). All are welcome to receive the sacraments, he said.

“I make a point of inviting everyone to participate and explain how to receive the sacrament or a blessing for everyone attending,” Hein said. “I believe that this makes real our communion with God as well as those loved ones who have gone on to be with God.

“The service also has special prayers that cover many of the reasons that we might not be feeling joyful this time of year,” Hein said. “There is also an opportunity for those attending to light candles in memory of loved ones and to write names or concerns that are on their hearts at this time of year.”

The service will be followed with refreshments and fellowship in the church hall. St. Mary’s is located at 1307 E. Three Notch St.