Sunday, December 04, 2011


My favorite time of the liturgical year, the four weeks before Christmas. Although it starts out with images of the Second Coming, these soon give way to memories of the First. You find yourself looking forward to something that has already happened. Although in the mythic world, it is always happening.

 Isaiah                     The pregnant Virgin         John the Baptist

Quieter, contemplative, mixed with the early darkness and the silent chill of December dusk. It is a time suited best to echoes. Focused not on possession but on expectation. John the Baptist. The prophecies of Isaiah. The old responsory Aspiciens a longe, Gazing from afar... And Rorate caeli..."Shower down, O heavens, from above and let the clouds pour forth the Just One; let the earth be opened and blossom forth a Savior." 

The Advent wreath, one light lit each week --a gift, like the Christmas tree, from the Germans.

I was always much more of an Advent Christian than an Easter Christian. All this matches, and has always matched, a deep corner in my Northern soul.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just curious: have you ever met a real "Easter Christian"? I don't mean the academics who complain that there's no serious "Soteriology" for Christmas and accordingly logically the vulgus are wrong, as usual, and the Church should shut Xmas down and browbeat parishioners into agreeing to enthuse for Holy Week instead.

As for Christianity as "organized disappointment," Christmas has the advantage: we all know that Christmas ends in disappointment [after all the gifts are open'd etc], doesn't change the world, doesn't promote peace by working for justice and so on. Christmas is honest.

Easter in contrast is to end on an upbeat note. God triumphs in Christ over all evils. Death and sin are vanquish'd. etc. Easter is dishonest.

But then, Pascal reminds us that "honesty" is bogus.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...