Nearly 60 years ago Elvis Presley crooned, “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you…” His love song barely touches the depth of sadness some people feel at Christmas, Milford church officials said in a press release issued recently.

“The emphasis on joy all around us simply magnifies the grief and loss experienced by some,” religious leaders said.

In compassionate response, “Blue Christmas” services began appearing in Christian churches nearly two decades ago.

On Monday, Dec. 21 – the “longest night” of the year – Mary Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church will host a “Blue Christmas” service at 7 p.m. in the church sanctuary.  This service of worship is for all but especially for anyone for whom the joy and gaiety of the Christmas season is muted by sadness, loss and grief.

The worship is quiet and contemplative but not morose, as those gathered reflect on the truth that Jesus was born to a poor family and his birth elicited a king’s death threat, compelling the Holy Family to flee for their lives, church leaders said.

Songs appropriate for the season will be interspersed with the story of Christ’s birth, prayers and the comfort of God’s promise that “the people who have walked in darkness have seen a great light.”

The service will end with “Silent Night” played on a guitar, the instrument for which it was written. Light refreshments will follow.

The church campus at 168 South Broad Street, Milford, has ample parking and the sanctuary is fully handicapped-accessible. All are welcome.

This worship is one of Mary Taylor’s regular “Healing and Wholeness” services each Monday evening at 7 p.m.  For more information visit www.mtm-umc.org or call the church office at 203-874-1982.