Sunday, December 6, 2015


Second Sunday of Advent

The candle we light for the Second Sunday of Advent is called the Bethlehem Candle, a symbol of Mary and Joseph's journey. It symbolizes hope, in both of the senses in which that word is used in the Bible: The faithful anticipate the arrival of the Messiah, but also find hope in the knowledge that God will keep His promises to us. We wait, but we also trust. 

Feast Day

St. Nicholas Church, Palisades Park, New Jersey

On December 6 we observe the Feast Day of St Nicholas.

On the off chance that you're one of the few people not aware that the real-life St. Nicholas evolved into the cultural icon Santa Claus, you can watch a nice summary of how that happened here.

In the meantime, you can best celebrate the life of St. Nicholas by emulating him, and doing anonymous acts of charity today.

Until Next Time...

Although "O Come, All Ye Faithful" is one of the first Christmas hymns I learned in Catholic school, I originally learned the Latin version, "Adeste Fidelis." The provenance of that original Latin hymn is unclear, but the familiar English translation was done in 1841 by the cleric Frederick Oakeley.

The lyrics express the anticipation of the Advent season nicely, and so it is a popular hymn at Mass during this season. Like most Christmas carols, adaptations of the basic song have been performed by a wide variety of musicians and singers in many different musical styles.

Today's send-off is a marvelous live performance of the hymn in English by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge (Class of 1983) accompanied on the college's magnificent pipe organ by David Briggs. The choir director, Stephen Cleobury, took on that position in 1982 and still holds it today. Enjoy...

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