The Holidays Are Not Always a Happy Time

Labyrinth (Photo courtesy of The First Presbyterian Church)

Not everyone is up and cheery for the holidays

Dealing with the death of a loved one, facing life after divorce or separation, coping with the loss of a job, living with cancer or some other disease that puts a question mark over the future, and a number of other human situations make parties and joviality painful for many people. There is a growing attentiveness to the needs of people who are blue at Christmas.  Increasing numbers of churches are addressing the needs of people living through dark times through special services and activities.

Some churches hold a service of worship on the longest night of the year, which falls on or about Dec. 21st, the Winter Solstice. The First Presbyterian Church will hold a special community service on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. It seeks to create a sacred space for people living through dark times. Candlelight, poetry, readings and songs will be followed by open Labyrinth walking and meditation.

The labyrinth is a circular meditative walking path, a design which dates back at least to ancient Greece. This labyrinth design is based on one found on the floor of the Chartres Cathedral in France, dating back to medieval times. It has 7 circuitous paths winding into the center and back out again. In those days, Christians walked labyrinths in designated European cathedrals as a substitute for making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land which was then both costly and dangerous.

Additional information may be found at or by calling 845- 265-3220. The First Presbyterian Church is located one block off of Routes 9D and 301 in Cold Spring, at 10 Academy Street.

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