Christmas Eve is 2 weeks from today and if this is your first Christmas without your spouse, you may be wondering if you should attend Christmas Eve service.
Here is my story of that first Christmas Eve service.
What I Did Christmas Eve 2008
I went to 11 p.m. service the year Joe passed because I reasoned the devil would get a foothold in my spiritually if I did not go to church.
I knew I did not want to be around for the lighting of the candles and the singing of “Silent Night” which happens at the end of the service. So I devised a plan. I would sit in the back with my friend Gina and leave as the ushers were taking up the collection, because after that it would be time to light the candles.
Prior to the collection we had a solo of “O Holy Night” the gentleman who sang it did a wonderful job although I swore he added extra chorus or two. There came a point in the song where I just wanted him to stop singing so I could leave. My nerves were shot and I needed to make like Elvis and leave the building.
Finally my friend got up to help with the collection and I practically ran out, not even stopping to put on my coat before walking out into the cold night air.
Once again hindsight was 20/20 and I realized it was a mistake to go that night. Staying home and getting to bed early for a good night’s sleep would have been a better plan.
If You Have Children
You might have children participating in a children’s service in which case you should go and stay for the entire service. Hopefully since you have children, you will be sitting together with other family members so you have some support.
If it is your second Christmas without your spouse, go to the service and try to stay for at least half of it. Each year stay a little longer until you make it through the service.
The decision to go or stay home is entirely up to you because your grief journey is unique and different from another widow’s journey.
If you stay home, remember God will understand.
He sees the hurt that is in your heart and will be there to comfort you, even if you do not go to Christmas Eve service.