Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fourth Advent & Solstice

Today is a super double Yuletide holiday as it is both the last Advent and Winter Solstice. Today the last purple candle should be lit. The last candle is the shepherd candle.

The scripture:
Luke 2: 8-15
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

Sing While Shepherd Watched Their Flocks by Night

The shortest day of the year was an important holiday for many pagans and pagans are fun. Solstice is the day for drinking wassail. It is also customary to give a portion of the wassail to any fruit trees or other plants that you would like to thrive in the coming year. Pour it on the ground and the base of the plant. This makes them magically fertile. The focus of the day should be the darkness and awareness that more light and warmth are on the way. To remind myself of this I did not use electric lights, but relied on puny candle light. It's nerdy, but it was kind of fun and old-fashiony.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Third Advent

Today is the day you light the rose colored candle. Most people use a pink candle for the rose candle. We all know that roses are red, so I use a red candle. I refer to the rose candle as the Virgin Mary candle. I do this because whenever you see uber Catholic paintings of Mary there are roses coming out of her fiery heart.
By the liturgical calendar, today is Gaudete Sunday. (Gaudete is Latin for rejoice) So, rejoice and stuff.

Here's the scripture:
Luke 1:26-35
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God

Sing this one:
The Angel Gabriel

I also watched one of my most favorite movies: A Christmas Story. It always makes me feel Christmasy and I find it to be geniously hilarious.

After the film, I went to a Messiah Sing-in. I have a lot of mixed feelings about Sing-ins. I think the 'Messiah' is one of Western Civilization's masterpieces. I think that's why I have a hard with a bunch of people who don't really know the music trying to sing it. Much of the genius is ruined when people who are not classically trained try to perform it. It's like going to see Hamlet in a church basement. I go to sing-ins anyway. It's never good, but it's usually fun.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Second Advent

It’s time to light the second purple candle. Seriously, do it now!!!!

The second candle is the Bethlehem/Manger candle, so try this out:

Luke 2:6-7

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

(I’m keeping these readings short because I know how bored you get.)

Sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem”. But sing the British version, the melody is much nicer.

I also watched my collection of Simpson’s Christmas Episodes. Not traditional, but definitely worth the time.