Category Archives: Advent

Creator Plus

To start with, I don’t have an issue with “Creator of the Stars of Night.” Nor with modern treatments of old hymnody–I program/perform them myself. What do you make of the addition of an antiphon to the aforementioned hymn? I … Continue reading

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The King Shall Come, New and Old

I have always liked the text and traditional tune for “The King Shall Come.” The linked recording with the simple GIA arrangement is a bit slow for my taste. I’m not in favor of the Picardy drama at the end, … Continue reading

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Candle Names

It was a few years ago that the phenomenon of naming the Advent candles came to my awareness. I used to think it was simple: first Sunday, second Sunday, etc.. Apparently, peace, joy, hope, and love are a thing. I … Continue reading

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Advent Lectionary: Isaiah 63:16b-17

The Lectionary framers stitched together pieces of Isaiah to lead out the first reading of Advent in cycle B. This opening plea stood out for me: You, LORD, are our father, our redeemer you are named forever. Why do you … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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O The season of Advent shifts to stage two, and a set of antiphons take a certain pride of place. These are likely the most well-known and expected of their genre in the Catholic liturgy. The letter that identifies them … Continue reading

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New Year, New Color

Casual visitors will note it looks different here. The season of violet tinged with rose (December 15th) and white (the 8th and 12th) has arrived. And maybe there’s a bit of blue. Vestments have required colors, but I’ll decorate as … Continue reading

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Setting The Seasons Straight

I found a comment linking to an old blog post that sort of plants a flag on one of the hills in the #waronchristmas: In general terms, I recommend that “happy holidays” be used in general before Thankgiving, after which we … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist: Blessing The Advent Wreath

Like it or not, nearly every parish seems to have an Advent wreath. Homes, not so much. The US bishops give this home ritual, in case you and your household are sticklers about it. If you’d like something special for … Continue reading

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December Colors

One of the seasonal tussles of which we see less in some circles thanks to the war on the war on Christmas is over the proper colors for decorations. As most every Catholic knows, before December 24th evening the right … Continue reading

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Merton on Human Ambiguity

In his time with us here at Catholic Sensibility, Neil had some real gems to offer. I still return to his posts occasionally. Sometimes they come up as I search through our archives. Scanning these on the occasion of Thomas Merton’s … Continue reading

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Star Dawn

In a liturgy/music/astronomy/science fiction mash-up, I’d like to nominate Alan Hovhaness’ mini-symphony “Star Dawn” for your December listening experience. From the review at a tribute site for the composer: In this work evoking space travel, bells symbolize the stars, flowing … Continue reading

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Exile Symphony

Some Advent music to consider, the First Symphony of Alan Hovhaness. The first movement is here by the Seattle Symphony, a more sympathetic recording than Leopold Stokowski’s 1942 version with the NBC Orchestra. From that link you can get to … Continue reading

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Advent, Always

The 20th century French Jesuit Jean Daniélou on this season: We live always during Advent. We are always waiting for the messiah to come. The messiah has come, but is not yet fully manifest. The messiah is not fully manifest … Continue reading

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Mary/Christmas Mash-Ups

It’s holiday time. Mainstream religious (or spiritual) humanity can’t seem to get away from sweets, be it in the goodies we consume or the music we utilize (listening or singing). The Blessed Mother seems a particular target for treacle in … Continue reading

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