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First Presbyterian Church, Carlisle.

Sentinel file

Christmas isn’t always merry for those struggling with the death of a loved one, loneliness, job loss or a host of other issues.

First Presbyterian Church on the Square in Carlisle will reach out to such people with its Blue Christmas/Longest Night service at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

“It’s just an expression of the idea that Christmas isn’t always joyful and happy for everyone. There are people that struggle at Christmastime for a variety of reasons,” Rev. Anthony Lorenz said.

Lorenz said the service usually occurs before Christmas at the winter solstice when we receive the least amount of light during the year.

The service is fairly typical in terms of its worship style, but it tends to be “a little more solemn, a little more somber to speak to people’s loss, suffering and pain,” he said.

It is born from the recognition that the problems people face can loom especially large at a time when the broader society seems to demand happiness. The intent of the service is to give voice to those feelings, and speak a word of hope to all who long for peace and joy in their lives.

No offering will be received, and a time of fellowship will follow.

The service at First Presbyterian isn’t unique. Lorenz said a number of his colleagues hold similar services during the season.

“It’s an idea that is fairly widespread in parts of the Protestant tradition,” he said.

Readers seeking more information should call the church office at 717-243-4612, or visit the website at

Email Tammie at Follow her on Twitter @TammieGitt.


Carlisle Reporter

Carlisle Reporter for The Sentinel.

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