By Dan Petty
December 6, 2007
Absent were the celebratory Christmas carols, the brightly ringing bells, the jubilant and joyous greetings of a traditional Christmas service in Cannon Memorial Chapel.
Absent were the cries of joy and happiness, replaced, instead, with cries from quiet sobs in an atmosphere of solemn reflection.
And absent was the customary candle lighting for a somber rendition of "Silent Night." Instead, a procession of people stepped up, one-by-one, to light candles and say the name of loved ones whom they had lost.
For those who attended Tuesday's nondenominational Blue Christmas Service at noon at the chapel, the holidays have been a struggle to find happiness while the rest of the world seems filled with joy.
"This service is for you," Kate O'Dwyer Randall, the university's acting Chaplain, told the congregation of about 35 students and community members at the beginning of the service.