Sunday, December 18, 2016

Peaceful Anticipation

Herald Angel

Today's is the Fourth Sunday of Advent, the final Sunday before Christmas (which itself falls on
a Sunday this year).

The candle we light today is called the Angel's Candle, a reminder of the appearance of an angel to a group shepherds in Luke 2:8-20.

That verse is the source of the appellation "Prince of Peace," which is a common way of referring to the Christ Child in Christmas hymns and carols.

Deep Freeze


I awoke this morning to brutally cold temperatures (-10 degrees,
with a -22 wind chill) and all sorts of cold-weather advisories from the National Weather Service.

I'm not looking forward to going out in that today, but I don't really have a choice. Christmas is coming, and there are errands I must run...

"The cold will give you something to curse about besides football today."

I don't curse all that much, especially when Santa is paying closer attention...

Blockbuster in Blue

Original 2009 "one sheet" poster

Christmas season typically sees the release of movies expected to be big box office hits, and the biggest such hit of all time happens to be my best friend Skip's favorite movie.

On December 18, 2009 James Cameron's science fiction/action epic Avatar made its United States debut, and within a month
it had taken over first place on the all-time box office receipts list, a position it has held ever since.

If they kept track of the world's record for viewing the DVD of this movie, Skip would be in contention for that honor...

"Does he just really dig the color blue or something?"

People like what they like...doesn't need to make sense to anyone else...

Dork the Halls

From the wry comic strip FoxTrot, by Bill Amend, which you should read every Sunday.

Until Next Time...

It is not uncommon for popular Christmas hymns and carols to be combined into medleys during concerts and shows, as a way of conserving time while still giving the audience a taste of favorites they have come to expect. I don't normally mind the practice in live performance settings, but in general I'm not a fan of it when it comes
to recorded music.

One exception to my rule is on Christmas Eve and Other Stories, the first holiday album by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Released in 1996, the album is among the best-selling holiday albums of all time, and has received six platinum certifications from RIAA.

My favorite track on the album is the medley of "Prince of Peace,"
an original work by the band's producer Paul O'Neill, and the classic 19th century English carol "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

Guest vocalist Marlene Danielle does a splendid job, and by the time the song transitions from "Prince" to "Hark!" the tears are always flowing for me.

It is one of my favorite Christmas medleys, and is quite appropriate for the day when we call to mind the message delivered by the angel to those shepherds...

Today's send-off is the original album track, from the band's VEVO channel. Enjoy...

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