Fast Away the Old Year Passes

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.


8 thoughts on “Fast Away the Old Year Passes

  1. You only mentioned one of the four Jewish New Years, the one on the first of Tishrei. Another takes place just a month before that (on the first of Elul,) another (in the early spring) on the 15th of Shevat, and one on the first of Nisan, which is two weeks before Passover.

    The first of Tishrei is also the first day of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years. In addition to various other significances legal and otherwise, all are also fiscal years for tithes and other obligations: Elul for cattle tithes, Tishrei for grain and vegetable produce tithes, Shevat for tree fruit tithes, Nisan for the fulfillment of vows made to the Temple and for the half shekel specified in Exodus 30.

  2. Our county supervisors and the sheriff have given a nice, polite We Will Not Cooperate to Despicable Kate Brown (D-ranged, Oregon) and her latest orders. So, no Thanksgiving day raids for letting the turkey be unmasked, or some similar twaddle.

    $SPOUSE has difficulty being in the same room as where wheat-bearing foods are cooking, so we won’t be participating in a peaceful turkey funeral gathering this Thursday (though there are a couple of Cornish Game hens in the queue).

    A Merry Thanksgiving to all, and prayers for the advent of sanity in the near future.

  3. I think of the Paul Manz piece as an advent piece, because advent is about preparing for the second coming of Christ, as well as remembering the first coming (Christmas). It is a beautiful piece, and my choir does/did not sing it often because it requires a soprano with a better range than we have. I had not heard the other piece before — it is a great piece!

  4. The pieces span both, but Christ the King can be tripped over on the way to Christmas, er, … oh yes, Advent.

    The second piece was good a capella, but to my ear it’d sound better a bit slower. They sounded rushed.

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