Monday, October 13, 2014

Forget The War On Christmas, The War On Advent Is Worse

Fourth of Advent Wreath
October 9, 2014
By Mollie Hemingway

...But what about the War on Advent? This is the war that really perturbs those of us who are liturgical Christians.

Let’s cover the basics. Christmas is one of Christianity’s most well known seasons. It begins — note, it begins — on Dec. 25 and lasts 12 days. Perhaps you have heard of the 12 Days of Christmas? That would be referring to the 12-day season of Christmas, which begins on Dec. 25, the Nativity of our Lord. Advent is the season directly preceding Christmas. It’s a period of preparation and prayerful contemplation. Advent begins on the Sunday nearest November 30, which is the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, and covers four Sundays. The length of each Advent season can and does vary slightly. The hymns of preparation for this season are just wonderful — possibly the best of the church year — and include the Great O Antiphons, “Lo He Comes With Clouds Descending,” “The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came,” “Savior of the Nations, Come” and many, many more.

Even though Advent is marked in this country by millions of Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians and many other Christians, it’s almost invisible in media coverage and cultural celebrations. And Christmas, in this country, “ends” on the day it begins for Christians, which makes things weird. The season after Christmas, by the way, is Epiphany. A traditional time of celebration was the night before Epiphany, the 12th night of the Christmas season. Perhaps you’ve heard of the play “Twelfth Night” by Señor William Shakespeare? There you go.

So if you really want to fight on the right side of the War on Christmas, you also have to fight on the right side of the War on Advent, OK? This will require something we’re very bad at in this country: a modicum of restraint and patience... the rest image
Advent is for preparation. Christmas is for partying. So that means Christmas parties should take place during Christmas. Christmas parties should not take place during Advent. You get 12 full days when hardly anyone is working to party all you want. Use them.


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