I know that it’s not January yet, I’m running on Catholic time, not secular time. So welcome to the new year! That means it’s Advent! Which means Christmas is coming! 24 days and counting.
Being in Seminary, Advent and Christmas time works a little different here. For beginners: No lights. Anywhere. We have an advent wreath, thats it. Whats great though, is we don’t need them. Lights are not what it’s about! Next up, no Christmas music. I mean sure you can play some in your room, but nothing public. You know what I like about that?, I don’t have to hear the same Frank Sinatra christmas song 40 million times. It also means AC/DC is still acceptable to listen too in the late weeks of December.
Through all of this though the constant in our lives is the Mass. We get the progressive story of how the first Christmas came to be. We listen to how the Gospel progresses to cumulate at our Saviors Birth. I mean how awesome is that? As many people are so found of saying this time of year: “Remember the reason for the Season!” Yeah remember the reason for the season, what they all said.
Advent is a 4 week period in the Catholic Church, the new year. We symbolize these weeks by candles. Three purple candles and one pink one. The order is: One purple, the another purple, followed by the pink one, and finished up by the purple one. Simple yet effective. All of these sit in a circle on a wreath of evergreen (symbolizing eternal life). In my Family, our wreath sits on the table. Not my idea. I just don’t see why we’d put flaming candles on the table where everyone is reaching for food and competing for the last leg of chicken. “You took the last wing?” *here let me set your shirt on fire with this candle, don’t mind while I eat your chicken* In all seriousness though, candles, hot wax, food, and hungry children don’t mix.
So where does all of this leave us? Well in 24 days, with cousins, grandparents, and aunts and uncles all crammed into one pew; you’ll sit and listen to the gospel that you’ve heard a million bajillion times, and together we’ll recount the first Christmas. I’ll top this off, more to come on Christmas though, I’ve got 24 days.