‘Blue Christmas’ will remember 500 who are dearly missed

Photos by Tom Rivers: This Christmas tree with blue lights is outside the First Presbyterian Church of Albion with the Orleans County Courthouse in back.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 December 2020 at 8:21 am

ALBION – There will be a service of remembrance and hope on Tuesday that will be shown online. The “Blue Christmas” service will include reading the names of nearly 500 people who have died.

After each name is read, a candle will be lit and a blue ribbon will be tied to a Christmas tree of remembrance located outside First Presbyterian Church of Albion.

The service is a three-year collaboration of the Albion Ministerium, Christopher Mitchell Funeral Homes, Supportive Care of Orleans (Hospice), Orleans Recover of Hope Begins Here and the Suicide Prevention Coalition.

The names that will be read during the service include people that Christopher Mitchel Funeral Homes cared for, all those served by Supportive Care of Orleans/Hospice and names provided by churches in the Albion Ministerium. Other people will be remembered during the service who passed away in a previous year but remain sorely missed at Christmas, said the Rev. Susan Thaine, pastor of the Presbyterian Church.

Due to Covid, there won’t be a large in-person service of remembrance. The groups needed to adapt and opted to do an online service that has been recorded.

Thaine and other local church pastors will be joined in the service by two representatives from Christopher Mitchell, a  representative from Suicide Prevention Coalition, and two representatives from Supportive Care/Hospice.

Gary Simboli and the Rev. Aleka Schmidt, pastor of the First Baptist Church, each sing during the service.

To see a video of the service beginning on Dec. 15, click here to be directed to the Facebook page for the Albion Ministerium.