Episode 3.6 in which Christmas is almost here!

Episode 3.6 in which Christmas is almost here!

DISCLAIMER: Do to technical problems, editing did not go too well this past week.

If you are not ready by now, well, I have news for you. It’s going to happen anyway. Christmas, once again, is sneaking up and ready to start. Yes. I said start. For many, Christmas Day feels like a finish line. For some, the finish line feels like relief that all the plans, purchases, and demands will now fade so that normal life may again resume.

Please, don’t leave Christmas so soon. We have twelve days to let the idea of hope, peace, joy, and love sink in a bit. For some, there are days of from work. For others, there are days off from school. And for some, there are no days off at all. So lengthen out the season, so that when Epiphany comes along on January 6th, Christmas can lift you into a season of seeing God show up in the simple and the subtle.

Revised Common Lectionary

Three proper formats to chose from.  What is the difference? For an overview of all the texts for three different propers, Find John Shearman’s lectionary page.

Nativity of the Lord - Proper I - Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus; 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)

Nativity of the Lord - Proper II - Isaiah 62:6-12; Psalm 97; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20

Nativity of the Lord - Proper III - Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98; Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12); John 1:1-14

For singing the psalms: http://www.psalmimmersion.com/

“Richard's musical versions of the Psalms are grounded in careful, sensitive, and faithful interpretation of the Book of Psalms.  His translations and poetic paraphrases consistently capture and highlight what is important…”

Lessons and Carols

Traditional - http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/events/chapel-services/nine-lessons.html

Process Faith - https://processandfaith.org/a-ceremony-of-lessons-and-carols/

A Ceremony of Lessons and Carols | Real Spirituality For Real Life

Contributed by Jeanyne Slettom This service of lessons and carols is based on the traditional set of readings with some changes. It retains lessons 3-9, but shifts the message of lessons 1 and 2 away from original sin toward original blessing. The first reading is God’s creation and blessing of hu...

A Post-Patriarchal Christmas - Brian McLaren - https://www.trcnyc.org/bsag-2-8/

Articles and Stories:

Seedbed – Table in the Stable - https://www.seedbed.com/table-stable-celebrating-holy-communion-christmas/

“But if Holy Communion has not been part of our congregation’s Christmas practice, how can we introduce it appropriately? I faced this question a few years ago. On the one hand, Holy Communion may not resonate with a congregation’s Christmas piety; if the congregation views Communion as a solemn, somber fixation on our Lord’s sacrificial death, they may be reluctant to impose the sacrament on their Christmas joy. I happen to disagree with both this view of Communion and this view of Christmas”

 NPR - John Henry Faulk's Christmas Story

The gifted storyteller and former radio broadcaster John Henry Faulk recorded his Christmas story in 1974 for the program Voices in the Wind.

On Being – Advent Manifesto: Does My Soul Still Sing? by John Paul Lederach

“Some good friends in the world of Mennonite publications asked if I might write a few Advent reflections on hope in times of despair, inspired in part by my practice of haiku poetry… Being awake is an Advent thing: To notice the mystery that keeps us human, grounded, grateful, and grace filled. In this minute. In this conversation. In this day. In this century. It’s why I practice the small 5-7-5 syllable tapping of haiku poetry. It provokes me to notice. Where I am. Now.”

The Atlantic - The Joy of No-Gift Christmas

Many families who opt out of buying stuff are coming up with creative alternatives and new traditions.

CNN – Foul-mouthed Santa horrifies parents

“While parents and children were already evacuating, Santa Claus tore into the room and started causing havoc, a customer said on Facebook. He came changing (sic) in, ripped his hat and beard off in front of 50 odd kids and started shouting and swearing at people to leave," the post said.

US Catholic - More Days Merrier: Celebrating 12 Days of Christmas

In an earlier time Christmas lasted for 12 days—a tradition from which we get the famous Christmas song. The customs of the larger society have clearly shifted, and there is no way we are ever going to restore the ancient balance of having our Christmas merry-making take place during the 12 days after December 25. Still, there are many ways we can mark the Christmas season (the one that starts with Christmas), and deepen our Catholic identity. Here are 12 suggestions.

Like Mother Like Daughter - Celebrate All 12 Days

I have hesitated to write about this because often people think, “Celebrate all twelve days of Christmas! Sounds like too much.” And I’m no expert, nor would I set myself up as an example. On the other hand, we really did this, all those years, learning as we went, so maybe you’d like to know…


The Vigil: Keeping Watch in the Season of Christs Coming, by Wendy Wright

This reviewer mentions one of the miraculous effects of this book, it’s calming effect. “Very calming and motivational book. Each morning I looked forward to starting my day with the insights from Wendy Wright. Clearly, she is both highly intelligent as well as moved by an inner spirit. Everyone will learn from this book.” (from Amazon reviews)


As we find songs, we are making public playlists available on Spotify. Not every song is available that way, but a lot are. When possible, we will also have a YouTube link.

Old 97s -  https://noisetrade.com/old97s/love-the-holidays-saint-nicks-picks

Bonnie McMaken, Johannah Swank, and Marissa Cunningham – Lo, How a Rose


"It Came Upon a Midnight Clear":


Caedmon’s Call – It Came Upon a Midnight - https://youtu.be/k2NeW7CF_AA