Friday, December 1, 2006

Friday Five: Advent Edition

The latest from the revgalblogpal website via Songbird.:

Although it comes as late as it can this year, Advent is upon us. Some of us grew up observing it, while to others (including this childhood Baptist) it was even more foreign than Lent! Over the past twenty years, I have grown to love Advent as a season of preparation, although as a pastor I find it harder to practice it at home than at church, even when the church might prefer I make it the other way 'round.

Here are five questions about Advent for this first of December:

1) Do you observe Advent in your church?

Yes... although not as much as my reformed worship professors would like. We light the candles one at a time and when I go lectionary I do stick with the texts and take our time getting to Christmas, but the hymns are another story.

I used to stand firm in the 'no Christmas hymns before the 24th' rule. I threw them a bone by having a hymn sing before worship on the first Sunday of Advent. But the poinsettias by tradition arrive in our Sanctuary the third Sunday of Advent so really what was the sense there.

Then I read an article about relating to the new age churchgoer in attempts to grow your congregation and it flat out said to get off our theological high horses and sing Christmas hymns in December. I gotta tell you, it made sense to me. So now we kind of ease into it and by the third week we are flat out singing it!

2) How about at home?
Advent calendar now and we definitely plan on an Advent wreath starting next year when The Boy can start to be a part of that tradition.

3) Do you have a favorite Advent text or hymn?
I love, Love, LOVE O Come, O Come Emmanuel and Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence. The first we sing throughout Advent verse be verse as a response to the Statement of Faith. The latter I have incorporated into Communion this Sunday.

4) Why is one of the candles in the Advent wreath pink? (You may tell the truth, but I'll like your answer better if it's funny.)
Because I get to drink from my flask every time someone asks that question.

Actually in all seriousness the pink candle represents the fourth wise person who was actually a woman. She stopped and asked for directions and in doing so arrived ahead of the wise men and the drummer boy and therefore her presence was never recorded in song.

5) What's the funniest/kitschiest Advent calendar you've ever seen.
Well admittedly I hadn't seen anything too awful so I journeyed over to ebay where I found this Advent Calendar for horses. Yup, you read that right. It contains "super tasty healthy vitamin treats with cod liver oil." YUM!

For some reason the pictures aren't uploading, but I also found one under the title of "Advent Calendar Rainbow Fish Ocean Beach Sealife". The forgot the words 'reef' and 'jellyfish'.


Reverend Dona Quixote said...

Why is one of the candles pink anyhow ...??? Here's to that mysterious wise woman of the pink candle!

[glug, glug, glug]


Songbird said...

I think we need another drink! (Aren't you glad I asked that question?)

Anonymous said...

I sure the horses appreciate the significance!

rev maria said...

I told the Poinsettia legend at Children's moment last Sunday - therefore it is theologically ok to have poinsettias in the sanctuary the first Sunday of Advent. :-)

zorra said...

Do I get to take a swig every time a fellow choir member complains to me,"Why are we singing these obscure songs? Why can't we sing Christmas carols?" (The Scientist and I have both learned that the response, "Because it's not Christmas," does not satisfy, and makes us look even more like the liturgical geeks we are.)

Anonymous said...

For you flask... you might try a nice Christmas porter... there are several and they don't mind being room temperature...


ppolarbear said...

I like your answer to the pink candle.

Magdalene6127 said...

Oh Will Smama, You really got me with your number 4 answer. Let's create an Advent drinking game for pastors only!

In all seriousness, what you said about singing Christmas songs through Advent really has given me pause. I've been on this high horse so long I'm not sure what saddle sores I'll have to deal with when and if i come on down...

Thanks! Well played, indeed!


Mrs. M said...

I'm absolutely wild about both answers to #4. However, I think my blood froze in my veins at the idea of new age worshippers and giving in on the hymns.

(It's not you, willsmama. I'm sure you're doing the right thing. I'm having a "digging in her heels" week.)

will smama said...

The phrase 'new age' was mine, not the article's. I just think the article made a good point about holding off the Christmas hymns until it is actually Christmas and by that time folks have done that/been there.

I can see both sides of it. For me I do Advent hymns week #1, then week #2 we move to the more subtle Christmas hymns and it gets more blatant for the next two weeks.

In the meantime I use the lectionary texts and keep the preaching on pace with the liturgical calendar.

It seems to work for us.

Songbird said...

Here's another thought: where else are our children going to hear Christmas Carols? When most of us were young, we often sang them in school as well as at church, but now that's (rightly) different. I don't know about your church, but how many families with kids show up at yours on the Sunday after Christmas, when you're singing Christmas carols? I may be undergoing a transformation here.

SpiritMists said...

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence is my favorite, too---I already requested it at my church!

Finally, also---My Tattoo!

Gord said...

WE did almost exclusively Advent hymns yesterday (one was a non-seasonal communion hymn) and the same is on for next week. THen we get into Christmas carols for teh pageant (A3) and Mainly carols (with one advent hymn) and A4.

BTW What change did you make in teh template to get "Commenting Procrastinators" instead of just Comments. I'd love to make a similar change in mine.