A Healing and Hope service will take place at St. Alban’s Anglican Church, Ashcroft at 2 p.m. on Dec. 21, and all are welcome. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)

A Healing and Hope service will take place at St. Alban’s Anglican Church, Ashcroft at 2 p.m. on Dec. 21, and all are welcome. (Photo credit: Journal files)

Healing and Hope service at St. Alban’s Church, Ashcroft on Dec. 21

All are welcome to attend this special service

The Rev. Linda LaGroix

Just what is the St. Alban’s Healing and Hope Service?

“God, let all of us find some peaceful forgettings and peaceful rememberings, a good friend to listen to our story again, and, at last, a still place within ourselves…”

On Dec. 21, the longest night of the year (or, alternatively, the shortest day of the year), St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Ashcrtoft is offering a service at 2 p.m. to meet the needs of those for whom the Christmas festive season is a difficult time.

We know that the holidays can be an especially difficult time for anyone who has suffered loss or hurt. At St. Alban’s, we are joining many congregations across the country who offer a special time to identify and spend time with that reality.

As a service of comfort, it is a way we can recognize the depth of the season and help process those negative feelings that might be held within during the holidays. By doing so, we can all celebrate more fully, knowing we have acknowledged those who are no longer with us, those persons or things that have hurt us, or identified what we might have left behind.

In our service, we offer a time of quiet reflection with short scriptures and prayers. During these quiet times, we honour all those things and people that we have lost; we raise up good memories and then, together, we celebrate the losses and hurts by lovingly placing them on a memorial tree.

Candles are lit on our Advent wreath and on the altar to honour our losses, with special prayers for each category of loss. With each lighted candle, we drive away the darkness with the increasing light. The service closes with each person having their own candle as we sing “Silent Night together. A gift as a reminder of joy and a hopeful future will be given out to remember the time together.

Ultimately, the service provides a time of community where people gather to love and support each other through the sadness that arises, especially during this Christmas time.

Everyone is welcome to come and be together, participating as able and supported by all gathered!

AshcroftChristmas

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