Tomorrow evening is the first vespers for the season of Advent – and my yearly battle to keep to the liturgical calendar.
The commercial season of Christmas gets into full swing. You can hardly avoid it given that Christmas commercials air during every program, the local news broadcasts have Christmas related stories, ads for performances of the Nutcracker, classic Christmas movies on television that started last week, and not even able to go grocery shopping without listening to Christmas music. No wonder people are willing to be done with Christmas by 3pm on December 25. By that time, they’ve been inundated with Christmas for a solid six to eight weeks. It drives me up a wall.
Finally, I figured out a way to maintain my own sense of the liturgical seasons. Starting on first vespers of Advent, I listen to the Advent music on a CD by Madonna House:
“Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” “O Come Divine Messiah,” and “Gabriel’s Message” are wonderful songs to stay in anticipation mode. Other than pulling out a wreath, I don’t even put my tabletop tree up until the 17th at which point I add “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and the “O Antiphons.”
On the 24th and for the entire octave, I’ll play the Christmas vespers in the evening. By then, the rest of the world is done with Christmas, so that’s when I pull out my Christmas music. I turn off my usual classical music station and just listen to Christmas music at least until Epiphany.
If you have other ways of keeping Advent and Christmas in their proper place in the calendar, I’d be interested in hearing about them.
Big Brother FTC disclaimer: No, I don’t get material benefit from mentioning this CD.