The Obligatory Yearly Advent Reminders Are Rolling In

See here and here. This really does feel like it’s starting to become a habit. Here is a brief list of the things you will hear (or have perhaps already heard) this Advent season (or was it last year?):

Happy New Year! (The church’s new liturgical year starts at the beginning of Advent, the bearer of the news thus will have aptly demonstrated his or her liturgical savvy.)

The season of Advent is a fast season, not a feast. (That means no making merry! That goes for you too, there in the back row! And go put on a hair shirt!)

Christmas (as a season) doesn’t actually start until Christmas morning. (So no singing carols during Advent!)

This is of course metadiscourse, a discourse on the discourse. A focus on the Christian season of Advent rather as opposed to the orgy of consumerism that Christmas has become is, I think, a healthy corrective, and I’ve been the bearer of all this news at one point or another. Much of it, however, seems to have just as much to do with naive excitement about “liturgy”—as the latest church-marketing novelty—as it does with a true return to the traditional practices of the church (though I will note that both of the authors of the instances cited in this post demonstrate a healthy ecclesiology and are worth reading).

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