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November 27, 2007

If you get First Things.....

.....be sure you read the article "The End of Advent" by Joseph Bottum. I looked on the First Things website, to see if it was there, but it is not. Or at least not yet. Anyway, the article is short but worthwhile.

Here's a little snippet for you:

Christmas has devoured Advent, gobbled it up with the turkey giblets and the goblets of seasonal ale. Every secularized holiday, of course, tends to lose the context it had in the liturgical year. Across the nation, even in many churches, Easter has hopped across Lent, Halloween has frightened away All Saints, and New Year's has drunk up Epiphany.

Still the disappearance of Advent seems especially disturbing--for it's injured even the secular Christmas season: opening a hole, from Thanksgiving on, that can be filled only with fiercer, madder, and wilder attempts to anticipate Christmas.

More Christmas trees. More Christmas lights. More tinsel, more tassels, more glitter, more glee--until the glut of candies and carols, ornaments and trimmings, has left almost nothing for Christmas Day. For much of America, Christmas itself arrives nearly as an afterthought: not the fulfillment, but only the end, of the long Yule season that has burned without stop since the stores began their Christmas sales.

Posted by MamaT at November 27, 2007 8:01 AM


It's an ancient problem, really, and one brought forth by the Church.

For one thing, Halloween was a pagan holiday that the Church retro-fitted to their liturgical calendar. If it is fair that the original be wholly destroyed by the pretender, then yes, All Saints Day should override Halloween and yes, chocolate bunnies and painted eggs should become the real meaning of Easter.

For another thing, Christ was born while the shepherds were watching their flocks--ie, the lambing season, springtime. The big party is in December because the Church wanted to retro-fit Saturnalia and all its trappings into their liturgy. So we get holly and mistletoe (sacred to Saturn; missing from the gospels). We get trees and wreaths (fertility symbols that were well suited to Saturn as the Roman god of agriculture). We get carolers (thankfully fully clothed these days).

Really, it's far too early in the year for what should be Advent and we're months away from the birth of Christ.

To repair things would take an entire reset. The Vatican would have to reexamine the liturgical calendar based on the actual text of the gospels, not what the secular society is doing, and rearrange things accordingly. For now it is abundantly clear that the Church is willing to sacrifice its gospels on the altar of the surrounding culture.

Posted by: Ivy at November 27, 2007 2:26 PM

Why don't you delete this anti-Catholic rant?

Posted by: William Luse at November 30, 2007 4:22 AM

This guy REALLY needs a pen name.

Posted by: Marc at December 1, 2007 1:21 PM

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