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'Blue Christmas'
offers solace

Simbang Gabi
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Rev. Patrick Leo LaBelle, OP

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placeholder January 8, 2018   •   VOL. 56, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA

Thoughtful 'Blue Christmas' offers solace
A first-time "service of reflection" drew about 100 people to the Cathedral of Christ the Light the night of Dec. 21, the shortest day and longest night of the year. The event offered togetherness and comfort to those who due to the loss of a loved one, or personal tragedy, might not be enjoying the festivities of the Christmas season. Cathedral Rector Very Rev. Jay Matthews said, "This is the time of year when the veil between the worlds is thin and we experience fully how dark the dark can be. In this service, we recognize that not everyone feels joyful at Christmas, and we honor the need in each of us to reach out seeking peace and comfort in our souls." Violinist Philip Santos and organist John Renke, the cathedral's pastoral associate for Divine Worship & Operations, provided quiet, moving musical interludes, between prayers, Scripture readings and quiet song. Some attendees were alone, others in twos and threes, and some families; many shed tears. At the end, almost the entire audience joined in a somber, candle-lighting ceremony.
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