HAGERSTOWN - The joy of Christmas can be wrenching for people who are grieving, like Kathy King of Hagerstown, whose husband, Ken, died of colon cancer in June.
With so many people around her excited about holiday plans, King said she went into the office of Denise Staub, her friend and co-worker at Middletown High School, and cried, thinking about how she'll be alone.
Staub understands: Her husband, Calvin, died in August 2006, also of cancer.
The women's mothers also died around the same time.
King and Staub were among about 25 people at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown on Friday evening for a "Blue Christmas" service, tailored for those who are sad.
The Rev. Torben Aarsand said lonely or upset parishioners might feel alienated by services emphasizing the happiness of the season.
Other than funerals, churches usually don't acknowledge those feelings, said Aarsand, an interim pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church.