Tuesday, 4 December 2012

trim, trace and cross-quarter

I discovered this nice Christmas spread decking the altar of country church in mid-January earlier this year.
Ignoring for a moment the big take-away that this is a woefully inaccurate representation of the event, what with the pious farm animals, most churches, including the Vatican, keeps out its Christmas decorations through Epiphany (Dreikรถnigstag) and the ordinary time (ordinary in the sense of ordinal, counting the weeks until the next big season) before Lent and Passiontide until the feast of Candlemas (Darstellung des Herrn, presenting Baby Jesus at Temple) at the beginning of February. It’s OK if one does not get to taking down the lights and tree right away, and it is a nice thing to let the celebration linger. The Pope is not calling for a tightening up on symbols and idols and Catholics should not fear for the loss of these trappings—besides (it really bothered me that some body understood all the Pope’s scholarship for some amounted to livestock and time of the year), the latest papal blunderbus about tagging staff and domestics in the city state to monitor their movements, like Texas public school students or married Saudi Arabian women (but for quite different reasons), seems to have become the next big take-away.