Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vespers for Life - I Missed It

After almost 2,000 Christmas celebrations, the Catholic Church's celebration of our Lord's birth has settled into something of a predictable routine. Each year, around the world, we do pretty much the same things in the same order. There's a little variation: over time, as new centuries bring new customs; around the world, as different cultures bring their own customs to the Church.

St. Francis of Assisi, for example, introduced the creche about eight centuries back. (December 24, 2009).

Today's America made decorated evergreen trees a part of the Christmas celebration. It's a 'natural part' of this midwinter celebration - for folks whose cultural roots are largely in Europe. Catholics elsewhere have their own ways. (January 10, 2010)

Something New for Christmas

Like I said, after almost two millennia, Catholic celebrations of Christmas are a bit on the predictable side. Even the matter of the Pope encouraging Catholics to pray for some particular thing: We sort of expect that.

This year, there's something "highly exceptional:"
"Pope Benedict XVI heralded the beginning of Advent this year with an unprecedented worldwide pro-life vigil. On Saturday night at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, he urged respect for human life and warned against adult 'selfishness' and the 'darkening of consciences' in modern society.

"On Nov. 27, St. Peter's was the center of global focus, as dioceses around the world joined the Pope's invitation to prepare for the season of Christmas by joining in a special Vespers service for the unborn.

"Although it is common for the Pope to encourage prayer for particular intentions, the request for a coordinated worldwide vigil – to be held on the same date and approximately the same time, in all dioceses – is highly exceptional...."
I recommend reading the rest of that article: I think that Catholic News Agency does a pretty good job of understanding what Catholic officials say - and reporting what's said without too much distortion. Understanding Catholicism helps, I think.

Vigil For Life: 'Missed It By This Much'

I quoted the old Get Smart comedy in another blog on Friday, which may explain that "missed it by this much" thing.

I was on the road with my wife and a daughter when the vigil happened. In short, I missed participating in that Vespers service - centered in Rome and followed around the world.

Can't say that I'm pleased about that - but I'm not going to tie myself in knots over it, either.

I put together a sort of 'better-late-than-never' resource list. The Advent link page at the Holy See's website is a pretty good resource for anyone who uses English and wants a framework for preparation and worship this Christmas season. My opinion.Somewhat-related posts:In the news:


Brigid said...

Spot the typo: "are a bit on the predictable site"

Plural agreement: "I put together a sort of 'better-late-than-never' resources."

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


Found them.

Fixed them!


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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.