The families of the beloved deceased entombed and memorialized in Living Waters Columbarium gathered for a Blue Christmas celebration at St. Gianna’s Church on Sunday December 17th.
For those who grieve, the Christmas season can be marked by feelings of loss and emptiness, yet the liturgy, celebrated on Rejoicing Sunday, served as a powerful reminder that Jesus comes to us in our darkness, and that the great celebration of Christmas brings joy, particularly to those who mourn.
As the names of the beloved deceased were read, candles were lit to adorn the fresh boughs of evergreen placed around the altar. The boughs remind us of the eternal life that is for all of God’s children, and we are invited to let the joy of the Christmas season pierce through the darkness of our grief. As our loved ones now rejoice in God, we, too, must rejoice in the great gift of Jesus and not feel guilty for celebrating in the midst of our loss.
Through the prayers of intercession, the assembly prayed for all the deceased in the various circumstances they experienced at the time of their physical death – from those who died tragically through drug addiction to those who died estranged in their relationship with God and their families… All are now welcomed in God’s loving embrace.
Comforted that our beloved dead now rejoice in the Heavenly banquet, we seek Jesus in peace and hope, particularly in our grieving, and we know that by his own death and resurrection, he has given us the gift of eternal life.
At the conclusion of the liturgy, participants were invited to partake in a light reception and time of fellowship in the columbarium. Families received a bough of evergreen adorned with a ribbon bearing the name of their family member. The bough is to be displayed at home throughout the Christmas season, as a reminder that our celebration of Christmas is already our participation in the gift of joy and peace in which our beloved dead now share.