Christmastide begins!

12daysofchristmas

And let us not forget, dear friends, that this is but the first of Twelve Days of Christmas: today is Christmas Day, but that is only the first day of Christmastide, which extends from today all the way through Twelfth Night – January 5th, the Eve of Epiphany!

Advertisements

Royal College of Music Chamber Choir – Good Christian Men, Rejoice | YouTube

Soure: Royal College of Music Chamber Choir ~ Good Christian Men, Rejoice – YouTube

Good morrow, all, and Merry Christmas! And to my Christian friends, Gloria in excelsis Deo! Our Saviour is born! Wishing you a joyful, holy, and blessed Feast of the Nativity!

Good Christian men, rejoice!
With heart and soul and voice!
Give ye heed to what we say:
Jesus Christ is born today!
Ox and ass before him bow,
And he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today!
Christ is born today!

Or, in the words of the ancient Christmas antiphon on the Magnificat:

This day the Christ is born. This day the Savior is appeared. This day the angels sing praise in the earth and the Archangels rejoice. This day the righteous are glad and say: Glory to God in the highest. Alleluia, alleulia.

Feast of the Nativity - icon

Lucy, Martyr at Syracuse, c. 304 | For All the Saints

Source: Lucy, Martyr at Syracuse, c. 304 | For All the Saints

“Lucy (Lucia), whose name means ‘light,’ lived at the end of the third century in Sicily and died as a martyr at Syracuse, probably in the last great persecution ordered by the emperor Diocletian. Her memory was venerated at an early date, and she is included in the eucharistic canons of the Roman and Ambrosian rites and is found in the Roman sacramentaries and in Greek liturgical books. Two ancient churches were dedicated to her in England, where she has been known at least from the time of Aldhelm, abbot of Malmesbury, who praised her in his treatise on virginity in the late seventh century.”

Why Millennial Catholics Are Re-Adopting the Traditional Chapel Veil | Fashionista

https://fashionista.com/.image/c_limit%2Ccs_srgb%2Cq_80%2Cw_960/MTUxOTU1ODMyNjA1NTE3MDkx/catholic-veil.jpg

“There’s a new uprising in the Church of millennials who are actually wanting a more traditional take on their faith,” [former “Top Model” and current Catholic speaker and author Leah] Darrow says.

Source:  Why Millennial Catholics Are Re-Adopting the Traditional Chapel Veil – Fashionista

I have posted on this subject here previously, but not for a while. This is a good article – although from an unexpected source – and a good opportunity to revisit the subject!

One thing needs to be pointed out: the key elements that differentiate Christian women veiling in church from Muslim women wearing the hijab are that it is a) voluntary, not a requirement, and b) generally occurs only in the context of actual worship: in church, or for some women, only when actually praying and/or receiving the Holy Communion. That said:

For some of these young people, “the appeal of veiling was initially an emotional one: It made her feel humbled and reverent, like removing a hat during the national anthem or at a funeral might, and made her more able to focus on prayer.”

Others “have chosen to adopt the veil after digging into the theological ramifications of the tradition.” To them,

“chapel veils represent a whole range of things: a way to emulate the veil-wearing Virgin Mary, an experience of ‘authentic femininity’ that sets women apart as specially blessed bearers of life and a reminder that she and all members of the church are to consider themselves brides in a symbolic marriage to Jesus, whom the Bible sometimes describes as a bridegroom.”

The practice of veiling is usually associated with Roman Catholics (although some Eastern Orthodox also practice it, and historically, some Anglicans have as well), but the tradition of women covering their heads in church has a long history in Christianity – dating to earliest days, and continuing until fairly recently in most churches. My very Methodist mother and grandmothers practiced it, although they used hats rather than veils!

As vicar of St. Bede’s, I commend the prayerful consideration of this practice (whether using the traditional chapel veil, a scarf, or a hat) to any women interested in our traditional Anglican mission, although I by no means enjoin it on any. Just something to think about, pray over, and perhaps research more deeply, should you feel that God is so leading you.

And of course, like any other attire worn to church, care should be taken, when choosing head-coverings, to balance the desire to “put one’s best foot forward” for God with the need to avoid distracting or drawing the attention of one’s fellow-worshipers. As one young woman quoted in the article aptly notes,

“It’s paradoxical; the best things in life are. It only can be pulled into perfect balance if you’re in it for the right reasons and you have a relationship with God. Otherwise, it does turn into a ‘look how flashy I am, or look how holy I am’ thing.”

As always, the watchwords are dignified and reverent!

Phony Virtue is Ruining Western Society | The American Conservative

https://i0.wp.com/www.theamericanconservative.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/hollywood.jpg

From Hollywood to our foreign policy, Rousseau’s joke is on us.

Source: Phony Virtue is Ruining Western Society | The American Conservative

“What counts as virtue among Western elites? As Aristotle teaches, if you can identify what a society considers to be virtuous or good, you can understand the moral outlook of that society’s institutions, from its schools to its foreign policy. One needs only to study any gathering of American elite culture to see that virtue, traditionally centered in personal character, has become redefined as public sympathy for humanitarian causes… This moral preening has become so commonplace that a term has developed to characterize it: “virtue signaling.”

“The West’s moral outlook is now animated by the widespread belief that virtue is measured by one’s professed sympathy for causes such as combatting homelessness, extending civil rights for various protected groups, and decrying poverty in far-off places. The more publicly ostentatious one is in attaching oneself to these causes, the more virtue one is assigned by our elite culture.

“Yet the continuing sex scandals of our elites are (pardon the phrase) laying bare the inadequacy of this definition of virtue. In Hollywood and other elite institutions, puffed-up paragons of “virtue” reign, but backstage are characters… wholly lacking self-control, decency, moderation, temperance, and civility… [This] glib dismissal of personal probity and the substitution of a moralistic public commitment to ‘society’ and ‘the world’ has corroded our understanding of morality.

“We might simply chalk this up to the everlasting tendency of human beings toward hypocrisy. Yet something more insidious is at work…”

Read on, for further understanding…

N.B. This issue arose for me back in the mid-90s, in divinity school, when I became aware of the decline and fall of personal morality – or at least, of concern for personal morality, unless in the context of socially acceptable (“politically correct”) causes – and the significance of individual sinfulness, and the rise to prominence of “systemic” sin, evil, and immorality… as defined, of course, by the socio-politically “aware” (read: left-wing / P.C.) “elite.” Needless to say, the situation has not improved in the last twenty years or so………

The Conception of the Virgin Mary | For All the Saints

https://forallsaints.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/conception-of-mary.jpg

Source: The Conception of the Virgin Mary | For All the Saints

“As early as Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, Mary was regarded as the ‘new Eve.’ In the East, where Andrew of Crete and John of Damascus had extolled the perfect sinlessness of Mary as implicit in the title Theotokos, the commemoration of her conception was known from the seventh century. The observance of the feast spread to the West and is attested in England by the first half of the eleventh century…

“In both the Eastern and the Western teachings, Mary did not remain sinless through her own moral effort (for that would be Pelagianism), but through the grace and mercy of God in Jesus Christ.

“While Anglican teaching does not accept the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and has never pronounced officially on Mary’s state regarding sin, the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was restored to the sanctoral calendar of the Church of England in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.”