Interfaith Service of Solace on Dec. 8

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The fourth-annual Idyllwild Interfaith Service of Solace will be 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at St. Hugh’s Episcopal Church (25525 Tahquitz Drive in Idyllwild).

The service is an acknowledgement that not everyone is gleefully jubilant in this “happiest time of the year.” Many carry the burden of loss — whether recent or long-standing — during the “holiday season.”

Loss, of course, comes in many forms. The pain of loss — of a job, a pet, a friendship or marriage, one’s health, or from the death of a loved one — is unique and yet the same. Within the Service of Solace, those who gather will share a time together as testimony that the pain of loss is shared by many and that we who grieve need to be in the company of others who understand.

Candles and light play an important role in this service. The dark of the evening may well express the darkness of loss; the light of the candles, so small in this immense darkness, is an expression of hope and the promise that light will return after the dark night.

Readings from different faith traditions will be shared. Music and song, expressions of hope and peace, will unite those who attend

Those who attend will be invited, in a time of quiet and meditation, to name their loss — whether old or new, large or small, a single loss or an accumulation of losses —using paper and pen. In the past, the naming has included a single word, a paragraph, a poem, simple drawings or a single mark on the paper. After the naming, a time is given to transform the pain and darkness of the loss into a new light of hope.

All are welcome to attend the service. Even those who are not currently experiencing the pain of loss are invited to attend and participate. The Service of Solace is offered by the Idyllwild Interfaith Leadership Alliance and is free.

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