Monday, December 19, 2011

Beware the Advent Police

Father Erik of the ever-entertaining Orthometer has posted a list of Liturgical Gripes today.

Among the gripes  was something that some of us, in our zeal to Preserve the Season of Advent, can be guilty of. If my adult kids were habitual blog surfers, they'd certainly be sending me this link today. Although they'd have to admit that we've relaxed considerably over the years. (or as they might put it, they've worn me down.)

"Advent Police. My first year at the seminary, the Ice Queen (tm) decreed that there would be no Christmas decorations at all during Advent. (I think she was descended from Burgermeister Meisterburger.) It made for the most depressing December EVER! Jesse Trees just don't cut it. I hear more and more of similar bans. Get a grip folks. I understand the desire to appreciate the Liturgical Season of Christmas, but get a grip folks. Saying Merry Christmas does not destroy Advent and neither do Christmas lights and trees. This problem can addressed by the gradual introduction of Christmas decorations culminating on December 25th and by leaving them up until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Liturgical Puritanism in not the answer."


  1. Oh! So true, so true! I have tried and failed to attain this kind of Advent "perfection". Aside from being a little stiff and... cold... it is way tough to leave everything to the last minute in family life. I was ruminating on this very thing today because my family of 8 is struggling to get over the stomach flu. I put up my tree a little earlier this year than usual and what a BLESSING! lol. I'd put it up on Thanksgiving if it meant not having to try to alternately decorate and vomit. :)

    I tell my kids that God is not a bean counter. Make sure to take care of the big stuff in the spiritual life and then do your best with the non-essentials.

    We slowly build up during Advent in our house and then reach crescendo in the final days. Or in some years (like this one) we sputter along and pray we can eat our Christmas dinner... thanking God all the way that we did a bunch of stuff early.

    God bless you! Love your blog. I follow faithfully although usually silently. :)

  2. Oh Melody! I hope you are all better soon. We've passed stomach bugs around (7 kids) but never at Christmas. God bless you. Thanks for the kind words.

  3. We generally build up the decorations as well. Some years I do better than others with that.

    I went and read the whole thing and laughed about the last: "gathering space" and other words. We attend a merged parish. Two churches, one parish. But they are not called churches. They are referred to as "worship sites."

  4. @Barb. It could be worse: at least they don't call them worship venues.