October 22nd, 2020

Martin Brothers hosting ‘blue Christmas’ service

By Mabell, Dave on November 28, 2019.

Lethbridge Herald

After the death of a partner, family member or friend, the holiday season can bring further pain.

It feels impossible to share in joy and warmth of the Christmas celebrations when that loss is so recent.

That’s why churches hold “blue Christmas” services in later December. In Lethbridge, people who may have no connection with a place of worship are offered another way to respond to those feelings.

All who feel the need are invited to a holiday remembrance program, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Martin Brothers Funeral Chapel.

Elizabeth Martin-Jong, who leads the quiet service, says some family members may experience additional anxiety at this time of year.

“Why is everyone happy, and I’m not?” they ask.

Sometimes that happens not right away but in the second year, explains Mary Shillington, who is helping with the remembrance event. It’s open to all who are feeling some of those pressures.

It’s not a religious service, Martin-Jong says, but an opportunity to hear how others have dealt with their loss. A guest speaker will share his family’s responses to the death of a father and grandfather.

His presentation will be followed by an invitation to light a candle as an act of remembrance.

Later, there will be an opportunity to chat with others.

“Somebody who knows what you’ve been going through,” Shillington says.

For those with children, there will be an invitation to write on a snowflake-like ornament to be hung on a tree before the event. The chapel will open at 6:30 p.m., organizers say.

Quiet music will set the mood.

RSVPs are not required, event planners say. But Lethbridge residents who require transportation are asked to call the Riverview Chapel at 403-328-2361 in advance.

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