I’ve grown weary of Christmas music which began to be heard locally, early in November. Christmas music is not Advent music. Rather Christmas and Christmas music has been hijacked by the commercial interests in this country and around the world. Most Christians seem to be accommodating of this hijack, because for many, it symbolizes Christmas, a time to celebrate each other with mind-numbing expenditures for gifts.
Advent, the beginning of the church year, and a period of watchful waiting, prefiguring Christmas, begins on Sunday, December 3 this year. Traditionally Advent is observed with very spiritual music of longing for the Messiah, and self-examination. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is a typical Advent tune, instead of “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas”, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, or “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”.
St. Patrick’s Parish is celebrating the commencement of Advent with a special Advent program of music and readings. It will be held on Friday evening at 7 p.m. in their beautiful sanctuary. Their 11th concert over the years, I’ve found it a splendid way to get into the spirit of Advent. It is a benefit for Catholic Social Services, and a modest donation of $7 per person is sought upon entry. They are also accepting, that night, donations of coats, hats, gloves, scarves, boots, pants, shirts, sweaters, socks, long johns—any warm clothing.
Last year’s concert saw a large ensemble of musicians playing many types of instruments, and leading hearts to God in the true spirit of Advent. Personally, I believe this concert is one of Anchorage’s best-kept secrets. I was pleasantly surprise to discover musicians of other faiths were present to lend their talents of musical praise.
I urge you to bring yourself, friends and family to initiate Advent in a heart warming manner. The concert flyer is attached. Print it out to share with friends.
Advent blessings to you and thank you Advent musicians at St Patrick’s!