Free-to-use (ie public domain or copyright-free) means the words can be copied and sung to at least one tune with no concerns about copyright or performance licensing - sometimes in a limited setting.
Seasonal noteBlue Christmas" is an alternative type of church service foe people who have expereinced a personal loss or incident that is causing them to not respond to the usual joy and happiness of the Christmas season. They are typically held in late December (close to the 21st) - but can be held at other times too, including 21 June (the longest night in the southern hemisphere).
Often people these services cater for have experienced a loss like death of a loved one, marriage breakup, serious illness/diability, job-loss, or a traumatic event like a serious assault or injury.
Aims of such a service often include reminding people that they are not alone, honouring their their feelings, and if possible providing some experience of a healing ritual, eg lighting a candle or praying with someone.
There is no defined set of scripture readings for such a service, but some suggestions are below.
Similarly hymns generally need to focus on healing and be contemplative. Some free-use and currently-subject-to-copyright suggestions are below, including some of the more restrained traditional Christmas carols.
Suggested ReadingsThese are some possible scripture readings - there are many others, including many non-scriptural ones.
Isaiah 40:1, 25-31 - O comfort my people
Lamentations 3:1-3, 19-26
Psalm 13 - How long O Lord must I wait ...
Psalm 121 - I lift up my eyes into the hills.
Matthew 11:28-30 - Come to me all who labour
Suggested free-use hymns and songsAbide with Me
Balm in Gilead
Good King Wenceslas
Help me Jesus Christ
If Thou but Suffer God to Guide Thee
In the Bleak Mid-Winter
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
Love Came Down at Christmas
O Come O Come Emmanuel
Comfort, Comfort my People
Nearer my God to Thee
Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen
See Amid the Winter's Snow
Sweet Hour of Prayer
The Lord’s My Shepherd
'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime / Huron Carol (Canadian)
What Child is This
What Wondrous Love
Hymn suggestions which are still copyrightGod of Day and God of Darkness
I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry
Suffer Little Children
Suggestions about hymns that could be included are welcome: leave a comment below.