At Trinity Anglican Church, in Washington, Penna., City Mission holds ‘longest night’ vigil

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As the sky darkened outside Saturday, commencing the longest night of the year, the City Mission’s chapel in Washington also dimmed its lights. Faces bowed in prayer were dimly illuminated by flameless candles dotting the pews and Christmas decorations strung along the wall.

In addition to City Mission’s regular church services, the nonprofit organization held a “longest night vigil” Saturday for the winter solstice in remembrance of those who have died, and to recognize others still battling homelessness, addiction or illness.

Names were read aloud: Richard, Jack, Maggie, Papa, Pap Pap, Kenny and the list went on. Some people became emotional during the candlelit vigil as the names they had written down – of loved ones lost, or still struggling – were read from slips of paper placed in a basket.

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchPoverty* TheologyPastoral Theology

3 Comments
Posted December 23, 2013 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. David Keller wrote:

Just a thought—I would personally avoid any extra church service/celebration or rememberance on the winter solstice.  This was a legitimate and compassionate thing to do; but my first thought (which is admittedly not correct) was this must be a TEC church celebrating some pagan ritual.

December 23, 11:27 am | [comment link]
2. Undergroundpewster wrote:

Maybe they forgot to do this on All Saints Day. I too would avoid anything that hinted at worship of the seasons. Colossians 2:16-17

December 23, 1:15 pm | [comment link]
3. BlueOntario wrote:

Whether it is because of memories, perceived failures or injustice, or just so little daylight, for many, Christmastime is a period of depression and loneliness. I don’t think it’s wrong for a church to use the astronomical fact of the solstice to remind people that Christ is yet there during dark times. But, yeah, there’s nothing mystic about the sun dipping low on the horizon and that is a line not to be crossed.

December 24, 2:41 pm | [comment link]
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