West End United Methodist Church

Service of the Longest Night

The Christmas season is often advertised as a time of celebration and cheer, yet for many it can also be a time of loneliness, grief, and struggle.  The collective trauma we have experienced due to the Covid-19 pandemic has only been layered on top of all of the other losses and struggles we face, such as illness, the death of a loved one, job loss, divorce, infertility, financial difficulties, and more. 

Services of the Longest Night, traditionally held on the longest night of the year, are meant to hold space for those who may need a quiet place for reflection, prayer, and tears. In the midst of the darkest time of the year, a Service of the Longest Night draws people into a community of those who “get it,” where candles are lit as a reminder that even in the midst of darkness, the Light of Christ is coming into the world.

On December 21, at 6:30 p.m. West End will hold a Service of the Longest Night, both in-person and online. We will gather, physically and virtually, to hear words from Scripture,  light candles, hear comforting music, receive Communion, and pray.  Those joining us online will be able to submit prayer requests and someone in the Sanctuary will light candles on your behalf.  Even if you are not experiencing a difficult season yourself, you are invited to attend and pray for those who are.

The word, “Immanuel,” means “God with us.” Our Immanuel is indeed with us, even in the midst of struggle. During West End’s Service of the Longest Night, we will claim that promise for ourselves and our loved ones. We hope that you’ll join us.

For more info, contact Rev. Erin Racine at 615.321.8500 or eracine@westendumc.org.