Those who know me know I’m a liturgical Nazi, especially when it comes to Christmas. Christmas music before Advent? Bah, humbug! As I frequently remind people, Christmas starts on Christmas Eve (with the beginning of Nine Lessons and Carols from Kings College Cambridge if you wish to know the exact hour) and doesn’t end until Epiphany. When I sing the Twelve Days of Christmas, I mean it! I mock at those who celebrate Christmas before its time. I mock them as they sing their Christmas Carols when it’s not yet Christmas. And I merrily mock them with my proper celebration of the real Christmas season when they are sick of it all with their premature debauched celebration of faux X-mas.
Last year, I didn’t even allow myself to play my glorious English choral Christmas carol CDs until right before Christmas. For Advent is the time for Advent carols. And when doing my Advent lector duties, I don’t dare wear red or green like the ignorant. I proudly wear Advent blue, as the Lord intends.
But this year . . . this year, something’s wrong. First, I noticed I was getting into a Christmasy mood in mid-November. I considered that strange but didn’t think much of it. But then, then there were those Christmas lights. After a couple friends helped me put up my Christmas lights, I actually turned them on . . . and kept them on. Oh, I did it to test them out and so those who helped me with my lights could enjoy them. That was my excuse.
But then Sunday evening, I gave in to the urge to turn them on again. I thought, Hey it’s Christ the King Sunday, that’s worth turning on some lights, right? – as if the Lord wouldn’t see right through that dissembling.
Then Monday night . . . I turned them on again. Hey, it was St. Clements Day. Isn’t that good enough reason? Isn’t it?
But tonight, my liturgical calendar is blank. It's just the green of ordinary time mocking me. What will I do? I will stand firm tonight. No lights for me! . . . Yeah, right. I’ll probably drink my Winter Warmer and give in to my weakness and turn on the lights again.
And it’s not even Advent yet.
How weak I have suddenly become. I am so ashamed.