Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmastime Confessions from Priest's Wife

I ABHOR....
the song O Christmas Tree. In German, it is okay. In English, sung slowly, in differing keys and in thick Eastern European accents, I cannot abide it. This song is second on my hate list to Happy Birthday. These are definitely 'smile and wave' kind of songs for me.

irreverence when a church is used for a concert. I made it to the second half of my girls' choir concert last night. The concert took place at the local historic Padre Junipero Serra mission church which is still an active Catholic parish. About ten minutes after the concert was finished and most people had left, I asked the accompanist to play the Ave Maria so I could hear my girls sing their duet. Not only were the remaining people talking over my girls' singing, they had their backs to the altar, guffawing like there was no other place for their conversations. When my girls finished, the talkers kept talking, I used the holy water to make the sign of the Cross and congratulated my girls when we were outside the church.
emails that have the subject line: Christmas Eve Private Mass? My husband got a request for a family private Mass from someone I don't know (most likely from the parish that husband does the 6:30 AM Mass every Sunday). This family has a tradition of a private Christmas Eve Mass and their priest who normally does it- a retired priest without a parish- cannot be there. So they are very kindly asking my husband to do it. And the wife and kids can come too! After a 2 hour Christmas Eve Divine Liturgy and then knowing we will be getting up early to travel an hour for another 2 hour Divine Liturgy Christmas morning! Thanks for asking! So most likely, the big girls will help their dad with this and I will put the little kids to sleep. These people love my husband enough to give him the privilege of celebrating a private Mass for them on the second busiest time of the year, but they have never visited us for our Divine Liturgy.

I ADORE...
Irish breakfast tea with eggnog in place of milk and sugar. This is my favorite drink for Christmas. 

Having a break from teaching my college class! Now finally I can get some sewing done!

Divine Liturgy- especially when the little ones song 'Lord, have mercy'...they are getting better in their old ages (3.5 and 5.5)

the craziness of this time with going to parishioners' homes to carol them. My husband usually gets his Christmastime favorites to eat like calves' foot jelly. Yes, we will be back again after Theophany with the new year's blessed waters to bless the homes. Just like last year.

Amy Grant Christmas music. There. I said it.

a little bit of tackiness during the Advent/Christmas season. I am very tempted to buy myself this scarf made from old Christmas sweaters...

the adoption happily-ever-after story that is happening at the blog Posie Gets Cozy- my Christmas wish is that all children would be so cherished!

a British Christmas dinner- Yorkshire pudding, roast beef, trifle. This is another reason why I love celebrating at the very least the octave of Christmas. There is time for plenty of celebrations. Of course, we have a traditional Romanian dinner as well with cabbage rolls, sausages, polenta and other goodies.

Romanian folk Christmas carols. Search 'Hara' (a group I like) and 'Colinde' (Romanian word for Christmas carol) for more
My Wish List to Santa (really my husband- Santa gives only the stocking stuffers at our house)
Some Charitable Donations that will make me happy....wish I were richer and could give more
Questions to you from Priest's Wife:
Does 'Elf on a Shelf' exist? I have never seen it!
What do you adore and/or abhor about the Advent/Christmas Season? As always...commenting is easy here

24 comments:

  1. I love Amy Grant music, period. Old stuff, new stuff, stuff from her darker period (around the time of her divorce). I do especially like her Christmas stuff, and Breath of Heaven is a beautiful song.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She seems to really love Mary the Mother of God...a future Catholic, maybe?

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    2. Not likely. She is in an irregular marriage. It was all quite public so I'm not sure how she could annul herself out of it. But who knows! :) She is a Nazarene. They recognize the liturgical seasons, but I don't think they do much liturgy.

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  2. Adore: Advent, all of it! Italian Christmas carols, Christmas Eve fish dinner, my mom's very different fruitcake, making homemade pasta with my family, celebrating Christmas Adam
    Abhor: anything related to Christmas snow; songs, snowmen, fake snow on windows, coming down in trees, etc... why because I live in Florida and it's just not happening:) We are 13 days away and it is in the 80's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. deanna :( about the lack of snow- at least here in Ca we can get to some if we drive 2 hours (maybe- it seems the mountain snow is taking its time)

      I was going to try and make fruitcake this year- but I forgot- I bet that homemade is so much better than store bought!

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    2. Irish breakfast tea is my favorite, too! I will have to try egg nog. Sounds fattening... that means delicious in my book!! ;)

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    3. That's why I am very careful not to buy any eggnog before St Nick's Day ;)

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  3. A private Christmas Eve Mass ? Honestly, that sounds self indulgent to time ! Why wouldn't they want to,celebrate with their community ?

    Am definitely going to try the tea with egg nog !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes....we'll see what my husband decides

      You'll love my eggnog idea- just make sure to use the full-fat kind (for this reason, I very rarely buy eggnog, but I think there is a difference in taste

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  4. Hello! Yes the Elf on the shelf lives!!!! We have an elderly Elf rescued from a near by box of aging ornaments. He change spots each night. My girls get up quickly each morning to see where he is. I love Christmas mass and the filling of enlightenment I get. Love to you from Idaho!

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    Replies
    1. The elf seems like it could be fun as a game- but some parents use the elf as a spy to Santa- too much pressure! I say- let's keep things positive!

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  5. Hi PW,

    a private Mass on Christmas Eve? From a priest with a wife & a young family? Have these people no sense of Christian charity or even plain common sense?

    Your husband must be a saint for not saying something very un-priestly when they mooted the idea to him!

    Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fr Levi---I am hoping that they will take back the 'invitation'...and trying not to nag. In any case, his obligation is to his family and parish family and yet another Mass(not his obligation or 'his people') might make the Divine Liturgy the next morning not-so-beautiful...we shall see

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  6. Question: Shouldn't the word "adore" be used exclusively when talking about God? Such as "I adore God in His angels and in His saints"? I wonder what your priest-husband thinks as well. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see what you mean and I normally don't use this word for other reasons. However, in standard usage the word 'adore' has three meanings: 1. To worship as God or a god.
      2. To regard with deep, often rapturous love. 3. To like very much:

      I was using it in the third sense. I will try to be more careful in the future.

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    2. Sheesh! I think its good for people to have good command of the English language and familiarize themselves with ALL the meanings of a word. Then use them! I hope Priest's Wife is NOT more careful in the future. I adore your blog, Priest's Wife. ;)

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    3. I guess I have betrayed myself as an English-major type where language is 'arbitrary and conventional'

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  7. Amy Grant disgusts me. She abandoned her marriage. She has a GREAT future in the Catholic Church, which
    has made a mockery of marriage through annulments.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous- I'm sorry you are so hurt- I don't remember the details of the Amy Grant marriage

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    2. I watched her husband, I believe his name was Gary Chapman, openly get teary eyed on television, years ago when she left him. It
      broke his heart. As mine, too, was crushed by my wife.

      I used to listen to Amy Grant, too. Never again, unless she repents
      and reverses course.

      I do not care what went down between them. Marriage is for life.

      I honor our vows, even as the Church is once again moving to
      nullify them for the second time in twenty two years. This time, they
      can play their games without me. I am done. I will honor our vows even if Rome negates them. I will stand before God, in truth, not
      in deception. I hope Amy grows up. I hope the Catholic Church grows up. I believe those remnant days are not too distant in our future.

      God bless.

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    3. Anonymous,

      to echo Priest's wife, I am sorry that you feel hurt. There is much misunderstanding about what it means when the Roman Catholic Church grants an annulment. Here is a good blog by a canon lawyer that may help you with this. I hope it does.

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  8. Fr Levi,

    It is I who should be teaching Benedict about marriage.

    He would learn much and change the face of Catholicism for the better.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous,

      I think it is safe to say from your reply that this is a sensitive issue for you. But the truth is that the RCC's practices in relation to annulment are not an innovation of this papacy. The Church has taught from early times that while the bonds of Holy Matrimony are indissoluble, there exist cases where those bonds were never truly entered into & procedures were created to discern such cases. If I understand correctly, they are quite rigorous, the results are always automatically appealed to a separate court in another diocese, & possibly may be further appealed to Rome. The canon law blog I mentioned is a much better source of explication of this process. I would also urge you to talk to your parish priest about this, or another one you trust & get his counsel.

      In any event, your own annulment proceedings are clearly a source of great pain for you. I will keep you in my prayers ...

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  9. You are misinformed. I am aware of the basis of legitimate nullity, as should be anyone who contemplates the issue without becoming overly emotional.

    But, thank you for any prayers. They are always welcomed.

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thoughtful comments are welcome to the conversation! (moderation on posts older than a week...)

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