Friday, December 17, 2010

Advent Versus Christmas - Mattingly Reports

Terry Mattingly often has interesting reports and reflections. This week he posted one on a subject that has been a theme for Orthodox and Greek Catholic clergy for years: The Christmas season begins on 25 December.

It is wearying for an Eastern priest the number of sincere requests by parishioners for dispensations to attend a "Christmas party at the office" or some other such secular celebration. Every couple of years I still get many wrong answers when I ask on what day does the Twelve Days of Christmas commence. Any movement in the Roman Church to increase awareness of the basic rule of liturgical seasons (fast before, celebrate the feast, celebrate the 'leave-taking' of the feast) in the Christian Church is to be commended.

Terry's offering is entitled "Celebrate Christmas — gasp! — in Christmas?" and I encourage everyone to read it.

Here's a quote:

Rather than leap straight to Christmas trees early in December, the bishop urged Catholic families to embrace Advent prayer wreathes — with candles marking the Sundays leading up to Christmas. Families could have “Jesse Trees” that are decorated in Advent purple and symbols of the ancestors of Jesus, before adding Christmas decorations at the proper time.
While the article is very Romano-centric regarding the Advent (read Nativity Fast) season, the point is yet well taken. Read it here.

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