Longest Night Service
When: Wednesday, December 21, 7:00pm-8:00pm
Where: First Presbyterian Church Sanctuary | 939 B Street, Petaluma
Join us for quiet worship as we move from a season of darkness to light. This short service of music, readings, silence, candle lighting and prayer is particularly suited to those who are lonely or grieving, but it is also for anyone who is longing for a peaceful break from the demands of the season.
For many, December is the most wonderful and joyful time of the year. But it can also be a hard time of year, and for many different reasons, including general holiday anxiety, physical and mental fatigue from the demands of the season, or the grief that comes with the absence of a loved one. It doesn't help that this time of year the days are short and the nights are long. There may be a lot of joy out there, but there is also a lot of darkness. And Christmas is almost here.
Every year, First Presbyterian Church has what is called a Longest Night Service. It takes place on the longest night of the year, the winter solstice, this year December 21. It’s a short, quiet, contemplative service of music, readings, silence, and prayer, and it’s designed to minister to those who are lonely or grieving, and to anyone who just needs a break from the hustle and bustle, the parties, the shopping, the decorating, the cooking and everything else that so quickly fills up their days.
The space is set up in the round, with lots of chairs and lots of room to spread out. During the service there will be an opportunity for you to light your own candles. You might choose to light a candle and silently remember loved ones who are no longer with us, light a candle for people you need to forgive, for a place in the world that needs God's love, for hope, peace, and anything or anyone else that is on your heart.
Over the years, this has become an important and meaningful part of our journey to Christmas. Our prayer is that it be the same for you.