In the US, the proximity of Thanksgiving Day to Advent is a given. Five out of seven years, my Wednesday or Thursday choir practice gets absorbed into holiday festivities. As it should. What is left can be a slightly rough-around-the-edges first Sunday of Advent. There’s a mashed-up Triduum of sorts. Maybe you’ve experienced it, Wednesday night through Saturday:

  • Thanksgiving Eve ecumenical service (these seem to be fewer in number than they were forty years ago)
  • Thanksgiving Morning Mass
  • A vigil of football and feasting
  • A day of shopping and frenzy (these seem to have waxed significantly since the new millennium)
  • A quiet Saturday of preparation and decoration
  • Advent!

From the quarantine perspective, the days seem the same to me this year. No white Sunday for the King. Stay-at-home Thursday felt like Wednesday and Tuesday. Rest from a long journey, yes. But something is missing that watching on YouTube doesn’t quite fulfill.

So I turn to art. Or memories of it. Above, the depiction of Mary praying with Anne and Joachim not seeming to comprehend what is happening. I certainly feel a lack of comprehension at times. I relate to the parents of the Theotokos.

A number of years ago, St Cecilia Parish in Ames, Iowa, created a nice spread for their community’s Advent wreath. They often displayed icons of saints of the day in the center. I wonder how many children were tempted to “trespass” into the circle. I think I would be.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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