Wednesday, December 16, 2009
For all the good spiritual reasons to love this season, my love for it stems entirely from that Advent Wreath and the slowly-lighted candles. My mother had one at home and with much pomp and ceremony, we'd light it on the appropriate Sundays. Now I am too lazy to have my own, so I look to our High Church Brethren to sate my adventish thirsts.
The First Week of Advent.
Went by without any note. I completely forgot it could start in November. Doh!
The Second Week of Advent
At some point I realized my error. I quickly went on-line and looked up the Advent schedules of all the local High Churches. I found a service at a local Catholic church. I was delighted that they had an 11 Am service. That Sunday we washed and dressed and still managed to wander in a little late. There was a handful of elderly parishioners, and verily, a gigantic Advent Wreath graced the front. Both candles were lit, and I was bit chagrined we hadn't made it on time. We decided to stay anyways. We listened to the calm tones of the priest for a while and then realized he wasn't speaking English. We could almost tell when everyone recited the Creed (it sounds amazingly similar in Cantonese) but we were totally lost during the homily. We decided to come back to the later English service. We made it back to the English service and it was so nice to hear the familiar sounds of the mother tongue. Sadly, the wreath was already lit, but we got to hang out with it anyways.
The Third Week of Advent
We made it to our regular church last Sunday-- a very nice congregation mere blocks from out home that has almost all the parts that we need in a church (proximity, Jesus-lovin' people, and a healthy respect for the Bible), but they didn't have a wreath. I am big enough to know you can celebrate Advent without a wreath and the pastor's sermon and Christmas hymns did much to remind us what being Christian is all about.
Dutch's obsession with movies that touch spiritual themes paid off last night when we watched Le Fils (The Son), a Belgian film about a carpentry teacher with a difficult student and a dark secret. I don't want to spoil it, in case you want to check it out. Of course, any good movie about teachers is going to get my attention, but this movie hit all the great Advent themes way better than any wreath. What it lacked in sleighs and reindeer it more than compensated with beautiful images of forgiveness, parenthood and love.