If you belong to the Western Church, and follow the liturgical calendar, today is the last Sunday of the year. It is Christ the King Sunday, the feast of the Second Coming. The church year ends, and the next Sunday begins Advent and the new year.
If you are Jewish, the new year started a while ago. If you look at the calendar on the wall, it’s still November, although not for much longer.
This has been a really strange church year. Advent was good, Lent went overboard, Easter . . . didn’t happen the way it should (in my chorister’s opinion), Pentecost felt off, Kingdomtide (aka Ordinary Time) went on and on and on, and so on. Heck, Lent sort of blended into Purgatory or Limbo, as far as hanging around doing penance. Some churches are being threatened with not being permitted to have Christmas worship.
The title of the post comes from the Welsh carol “Nos Galen,” better known to English speakers as “Deck the Halls,” or ‘The Furry Day Carol.” I admit, I’m ready to consign this year to the rubbish heap of history. For me personally it has not been as bad as for many, but the Zeitgeist can’t go away soon enough. Instead of four weeks of waiting (Advent), we’ve had almost ten months of it. What’s the joke? “Day 204 of two weeks to flatten the curve?”
Time has crawled, and has sped. Days never seemed to end, yet five books have gone out the door, plus a story in an anthology, I’ve written a lot of blog posts, and there are only three class weeks left in the fall term.
I’ve tried hard to avoid current events, politics, and the like, because I know many of my readers want an escape. So do I. I spent Friday and part of Saturday writing Familiars material because I wasn’t up to facing real life. I need a break. We all need a break. “The world is too much with us,” as the poet said.
Christ the King Sunday. The end of the year, the Sunday of Thanksgiving in the US . . .
The piece below, to me, is about the Second Coming, even though most of the time it is done for Christmas (blame the Winter Solstice albums, perhaps? And the same thing happens with the hymn “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.”) It’s not as easy as it sounds. I love doing it.
Another of my favorites, although usually it is done more slowly and not acapella.