Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Tradition

A tradition on this blog (if it happens more than once, it is a tradition!) - a few lines from Hilaire Belloc's wonderful essay, 'A Remaining Christmas,' from his selected essays, Penguin edition, 1958, edited by J. B. Morton.

"Now, you must not think that Christmas being over, the season and its glories are at an end, for in this house there is kept the full custom of the Twelve Days, so that 'Twelfth day,' the Epiphany, still has, to its inhabitants, its full and ancient meaning as it had when Shakespeare wrote. The green is kept in place in every room, and not a leaf of it must be moved until Epiphany morning, but on the other hand not a leaf of it must remain in the house, nor the Christmas tree either, by Epiphany evening. It is all taken out and burnt in a special little coppice reserved for these good trees which have done their Christmas duty; and now, after so many years, you might almost call it a little forest, for each tree has lived, bearing witness to the holy vitality of unbroken ritual and inherited things."

"This house where such good things are done year by year has suffered all the things that every age has suffered. It has known the sudden separation of wife and husband, the sudden fall of young men under arms who will never more come home, the scattering of the living and their precarious return, the increase and the loss of fortune, all those terrors and all those lessenings and haltings and failures of hope which make up the life of man. But its Christmas binds it to its own past and promises its future; making the house an undying thing of which those subject to mortality within it are members, sharing in its continuous survival."


gemoftheocean said...

Beautiful quote.

Something tells me you'd enjoy this article from today's Torygraph.

gemoftheocean said...

Hey, happy Anniversary of your Ordination Day today (Jan 3)

JD Curtis said...

You know what? Here we are on Jan. 3rd and I was REALLY hoping we could sing some more Christmas hymns today. Don't get me wrong though. In 2 or 3 weeks it might be a bit much to ask for but for right now? It's A-OK as far as I'm concerned.

Adeste Fideles
Laeti triumphantes
Venite, venite in Bethlehem
Natum videte
Regem angelorum
Venite adoremus, Venite adoremus,
Venite adoremus, Dominum

the owl of the remove said...

Where were you at Mass, JD? We had "Magi" carols at all the Masses - "As with gladness, We Three Kings etc".........Karen, thanks for the good wishes, but my ordination date is Novmber 12th!

JD Curtis said...

Good idea OOTR. I think it helps people spring into the new year with the remembrance of what our Saviour did for us.
May God richly bless both of you throughout 2010.