This Sunday is the Sunday Next Before Advent, which begins my favorite time of the church year, Advent through Christmas to Epiphany. Yes, I know Advent does not really begin until next Sunday, but when this Sunday comes around, I can almost taste it. For one thing I can get out my ADVENT music and listen to it with a clear conscious. (Christmas music is still a forbidden enormity for a couple weeks at least.)
But this Sunday in particular also has a warm place in my heart.
I especially remember this Sunday, also Christ the King Sunday, in Oxford back in 2007. It began with church bells out my window then a glorious mass at Pusey House complete with a rousing Solemn Te Deum. (And, yes, I highly recommend Pusey House on Christ the King Sunday for those in the Oxford area.) It ended with a long anticipated heavenly candlelit Advent Lessons and Carols service at Magdalen in the evening. (Well, it really ended with me taking dinner at a good Oxford pub, but with me that goes without saying.)
Also, that Sunday let me know that my long dark rainy Oxford Autumn was near an end. Advent and home was near.
Wow, funny how the emotions of that time are coming back to me.
Then there is the unalloyed triumph of Christ the King Sunday, appropriate for the end of this church year. Christ is King now and soon will reign on the Earth.
You can see that the Sunday Next Before Advent has a special place in my heart. I hope this Sunday will be special to you as well.