It’s been more than ten years since the Episcopal Church adopted the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) for use in worship, replacing the lectionary found in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. The Episcopal Church does deviate from the RCL a couple of times during the year, however. One of those times is the two Sundays after Christmas. (We have two Sundays after Christmas this year; that’s not the case every year.) For the First Sunday after Christmas the Episcopal Church uses the prologue to the Gospel of John for the gospel reading. This does not make me happy. First, John really annoys me for a number of reasons, which I won’t go into here. Second, I like hearing the story of Simeon and his song on the First Sunday after Christmas. (You’ll find Simeon in Luke 2:22-35.)
But wait. The RCL does not specify the Simeon passage for every year. The only time the Song of Simeon is designated is for Christmas 1 for year B, the year of Mark. (For those of you who are not liturgically inclined, we began Year C, the year of Luke, on the First Sunday of Advent this year.)
The Song of Simeon is one of my two favorite passages in the New Testament (the other being the Emmaus story). Simeon has inspired many great works of music. Simeon’s song begins, “Now Lord, let your servant go in peace, your word has been fulfilled.” The Latin “nunc dimittis” means “You now dismiss (your servant)” and many of the works use the Latin.
Since we don’t find Simeon in the lectionary today I’ll share one of those musical pieces with you.
Terry and I went to our (nearly) local Christmas tree farm a week ago Monday and bought our Christmas tree. We put it up and decorated it, including all of our Star Trek and NASA ornaments. On Saturday we were sitting in our recliners, minding our own business, watching Pioneer Woman on Food Network when [WHOP!] the tree fell over. Just like that. Seems the base was too small for the tree.
Terry went to Home Depot and got a new base which was too big. She went back and exchanged it for one that was (you guessed it) just right. We decided that we had had enough activity for one day and put off (re) decorating the tree until Sunday. On Sunday we did just that.
We’re happy with our (re) decorated tree, but that was excitement which we did not need.
Still, the tree is up and beautiful and solid now, and we are prepared to enjoy our Christmas.
Happy Christmas to you, wherever you are.
It’s still Christmas until January 6!
Joy and Peace of the day to you all.
Peace and Blessings on this special evening.
Here is something different for your Christmas Day: Shepherd’s Pipe Carol by John Rutter
Christmas blessings and joy!
Terry and I decided to get a Christmas tree this year. We have not had one for the past two years due to my layoff and our desire to be careful with finances. This year, however, given the election results, we needed the comfort, and with the small windfall from my internet domain sale we decided we could afford one.
So off we went to a Christmas tree farm that my brother had recommended. We got plenty of exercise. The first select and cut area had only trees bigger than we wanted. We found that there was another select and cut area with trees closer to the size we wanted. We looked, we saw, we found, we bought.
This was on Friday. We brought the tree home and put it in the stand I had bought at Target. It would not stay stable. It kept tipping over. I went off to Target for a larger stand, only to find that they were completely wiped out in that section.
We stabilized the tree for overnight and decided to return to the effort on Saturday. We realized that we had made two mistakes. First, in our effort to make the tree look straight at the top, we did not situate it properly in the base. Second, we had too much trunk beneath the branches making the tree unstable. On Saturday we cut four or five inches off the trunk and made sure the tree was solid and secure in its base.
We began decorating the tree. We had some problems with our Hallmark Star Trek ornaments plugging into the light strings. We’ve had them for many years and the contacts can get out of whack. But we fixed that for the most part and now we have a beautiful, marvelous Christmas tree, our first since we’ve moved south.
Joy to the World!
Christmas Blessings to all.