Readings and suggested hymns for Blue Christmas services

A selection of  hymns and songs suitable for Blue Christmas or northern hemisphere Longest-Night services.

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 note

Blue 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 Readings

These 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 5:3-12

Matthew 11:28-30 - Come to me all who labour



Suggested free-use hymns and songs

Abide 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

Kumbayah

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

Precious Lord

See Amid the Winter's Snow

Sweet Hour of Prayer

The Lord’s My Shepherd

'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime / Huron Carol (Canadian)

Wexford Carol

What Child is This

What Wondrous Love



Hymn suggestions which are still copyright

God 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.


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