Blue Christmas and Children

I would like to encourage you to think of a Blue Christmas service for Children.

Though I do believe that it is entirely possible to hold an all age or Intergen Blue Christmas, there are occasions when holding a separate service may be an option.

This is likely where the congregation is older and more familiar with a traditional liturgical tradition, or where they still have the mindset that children should not be at funeral’s.

Adults who need a familiar space in which to do their own grief work, may find the presence of children, too difficult for an adult mourner to deal with. On the other hand the presence of children can open us up to possibilities beyond ourselves and move us forward in grief too.

A grieving adult in the throws of an anger phase (a normal stage of a grief response) may actually be a danger to child, and it is best if the two developmental stages are separated, or that you have the expertise within the congregation to deal with the effects of an adult’s anger outburst at a child. Therefore, people trained in child development and anger issues would need to be available. I know that all congregations cannot afford this type of expertise nor are they blessed with that type of experience within the congregation.


Though children experience the same grief stages as adults, they experience them in short burst over longer periods of time and tend to revisit the grief process at each new developmental stage. Thus, you cannot say that a child has moved on from grieving, so giving many opportunities throughout a child’s life to revisit the grief can be beneficial. Many adults though may not understand that a child is thinking about a death in a different way 5, 10 years later, and as most Blue Christmas services are held explicitly for those who have experienced a loss this year, children may already be out of the intended audience for this service, purely because their loss doesn’t fit in the calendar time frame.


Giving children an opportunity to learn how to grieve within a Christian context is important. If we do not allow them the space to phrase grief within the Christian story, what other influences are we allowing to take its place?


If you are open to a Children’s Blue Christmas, there are a wonderful collection of resources available to you.

You will find books with a grief theme at

Don’t forget that obvious favourite such as The Very Hungry caterpillar, can be useful too.

and Old Pig by Margaret Wild

OR My favourite colour is Blue, Sometimes by Roger Hutinson

And books about Grief

Be sure to use craft resources, such as Christmas tree decorations to make, as a physical reminder of the person/or animal that they are missing.


Or draw black pictures, (black texta, charcoal, crayon etc, on black paper) or use black wash over bright papers that can be scratched back to find a picture.


Use the emotions of the Psalms, try Rev, Purdies versions  of those that show loss.


Use, emotional cards such as those from St Lukes  Innovative Resources or

to check in on how they are feeling throughout the service.


Validate whatever emotion the child has. Don’t force them to be anything other than what they are, but also be mindful that caring about other’s feelings is important too.


Listen to music that has a sadness about it, some jazz, or classical tracks are perfect for this, just make them short snippets, a 2 hour concert is beyond our children’s concentration!


References including

Click to access ChildrenandGriefPrimary%20School).pdf

Click to access Adolescents%20and%20Grief.pdf


Don’t forget that a loss, may not be a death.

If you want a complete liturgy, please contact me.


Wendy L.



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