Longest Night Worship on December 21 Offers Hope in the Midst of Darkness

St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Martinsburg, in partnership with the Village at Morrisons Cove and Homewood at Martinsburg, will be hosting “The Longest Night: An Ecumenical Service of Prayer, Hope and Healing.” The jointly-sponsored worship service will take place in St. Matthew’s Fellowship Hall on Saturday, December 21 at 3 pm.

Rev. Scott E. Schul, pastor of St. Matthew, explained that, “for most, Christmas is a time of joy, a time when families gather together, and a time when hearts soar with excitement. But for many others, Christmas can be a time of deep sadness and loneliness as we long for the presence of loved ones who have passed or feel isolation in our distance from friends and family. This sadness can be compounded by the growing darkness of long winter nights.” Accordingly, the Longest Night Service is intentionally scheduled for the longest night of the year and, according to Rev. Schul, “provides an opportunity to gather together to acknowledge the grief and sadness many experience at this time of year and to gather hope in the light of Christ and Christian community.”

The service will feature prayer, scriptures that address isolation and grief, the singing of traditional Christmas carols, and special music provided by talented singers and musicians from the Martinsburg community. The service also features the lighting of candles as a tangible reminder that Christ’s light overcomes the darkness and brings both healing and hope.

Light refreshments will follow the service. All are welcome to this ecumenical gathering.