Dec 19, 2021

Longest Night Service scheduled in WaKeeney

Posted Dec 19, 2021 4:14 PM

News release

For some, 2021 has been filled with darkness. You may have lost a loved one and are still coping with that death. Maybe you are living with the diagnosis of cancer or some other medical condition that puts a question mark over the future. Others may be dealing with a divorce or a shattered relationship, living with a difficult work situation, struggling to conceive a baby, living with loneliness and isolation, or experiencing financial difficulties. Or perhaps this season is a time that is difficult for other reasons.

For many people, the approaching Christmas holiday does not bring with it the joy and happiness that is depicted in movies or in greeting cards. Typical holiday festivities—caroling, decorating, buying gifts, Christmas parties, family gatherings—leave little room for feelings of pain or grief, and we experience feelings of isolation. Our spirits sink as the days grow shorter. We feel the darkness growing deeper around us. 

In response, the Parish Nurse Ministry offers The Longest Night Service, offering a somber, gentle space for the community to gather on the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. The service is simple: candles are lit, scripture is read, and the focus is on personal needs in an atmosphere of quiet contemplation. This non-denominational worship experience is a way to acknowledge the reality of difficult or painful life circumstances, while still recognizing that part of the reason for Jesus’ coming was to bring hope and comfort, to heal the sick, to seek the lost, to restore the broken and broken-hearted. This is a quiet meditative time for remembering, sharing our hurting places with God, and preparing our hearts for the coming of Christ.

Those who do experience this season as a happy time can also find meaning in The Longest Night Service, as it serves as a time of quiet retreat from the hectic nature of the commercial aspect of the season and guides worshippers back to the real meaning of Christmas.

The Longest Night Service will be held on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 338 N. 7th St. in WaKeeney. The service will be followed by an opportunity to pray or meditate in the sanctuary for those who wish to do so. Please help spread the word in the community to friends and neighbors, and feel free to call Nancy or the church office at 785-743-2005 (please leave a message) with any questions or concerns, or to request a ride.

“I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.  Psalm 69:3