Light a candle; spring is coming

Feb 2, 2021 by

by Eleanor Parker, UnHerd: By early February, Christmas can feel like a distant memory. This year especially, with no end to lockdown in sight, cold grey January seemed to go on forever. Here and there you might have seen houses with their Christmas lights still up — and right now, who can blame them for seeking a little extra light in the darkness? In fact, people who are still holding on to Christmas are following an ancient custom. The traditional end of the festive season isn’t until...

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The glory of Epiphany

Jan 10, 2021 by

by Peter Mullen, The Conservative Woman: IT IS a shame that Epiphany is so overlooked. It’s as if we’ve had enough rejoicing once we’re into the New Year. But Epiphany is one of the great festivals alongside Christmas, Easter and Whit. The word ‘epiphany’means shining all around. The Epiphany gospels are thrilling and sensational and I want to look at them today. First let’s try to understand the nature of an epiphany. Ezra Pound wrote: The reader who opens a book has a right from time to time...

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Church of England back extending traditional January deadline to brighten gloom of lockdown

Jan 7, 2021 by

by Archie Bland and Alex Mistlin, Guardian: In other years, the threat of bad luck if you fail to take your Christmas decorations down by Twelfth Night might have meant something. In 2021, the idea that things could get any worse seems blackly comic. And so it is that for some people, baubles, lights, and trees are staying in place this year. In cities, towns and villages across the country, a few doggedly cheerful celebrants of the season have decided to dispense with the practice of the last...

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Christmas Without the Angels

Dec 27, 2020 by

By Dwight Longenecker, The Imaginative Conservative: People are not abandoning the churches because they are too religious, but because they are not religious enough. They understand that if a religion is about no more than mouthing spiritual platitudes and working at the soup kitchen, then they don’t need to get up early on a Sunday and troop off to church to hear bad music and a shallow sermon… I can remember my dismay when studying theology at Oxford to come across the modernist...

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Were Joseph and Mary ‘poor’?

Dec 27, 2020 by

by Ian Paul, Psephizo: One of the repeated themes of short Christmas expositions is that, in the nativity story, we see God coming to the ‘poor’, and as a result the main message of Christmas is that we should pay particular attention to the ‘poor’. I put the term in inverted commas, because in both these contexts the term ‘poor’ has a specific meaning: the distinctively materially poor. Here is a good example: This Christmas why not ask the gift to love the poor more deeply, with an abiding...

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‘Sing we Yule til Candlemas’

Dec 26, 2020 by

from Clerk of Oxford: As a lover of carols, I’m much in favour of the medieval practice of celebrating Christmas to some degree all through the dark days of January, so today I thought I would post a carol which encourages us to keep singing throughout this season. It runs through not just the twelve days of Christmas but also the forty days of the Christmas season, all the way up to Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification, on February 2. It’s a fifteenth-century carol (from...

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