Sunday, December 25, 2011

A quickie: What if the church really DID 'Twelve Days of Christmas'?

I am guessing that for many (at least in the Eastern time zone of the US), Christmas Day celebrations are either winding down or wound down quite a few hours ago, and the evening is turning into just another ordinary evening.  Here at the headquarters of the Fool's Errand, turkey has been consumed, dishes are in the process of being cleaned, presents were opened long ago, and if anything remains to mark the day it might be pulling out the DVD of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" for viewing.  Then, for all practical purposes, Christmas will be "over" for 2011.

But what if that weren't so?  What if the church actually took its liturgical calendar seriously and continued to "be Christmas" until Epiphany?  Things would have to change, yes?  The typical one-day blowout wouldn't be sustainable over twelve days; we'd have to pace ourselves.  At the same time, opening up the full twelve days as a way to observe Christmas would be about as countercultural as you can get; when the secular world starts observing "Christmas" the day after Thanksgiving and ends at about noon on December 25, and the body of Christ is just getting started, unfolding the whole story of Christmas (massacres of children, strange prophecies in the Temple, all that), well, that's a witness.

Maybe I'm just feeling jealous of my Jewish friends for whom Hanukkah is a multi-night observance.  Or maybe I'm finding a certain level of dissatisfaction with The Way Things Are.  But for now, I can't help but wonder if this is the time to slow down and consider making Christmas a real live liturgical season in deed as well as word.

No answers here, just some things to chew on.

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