What a busy week! Phone conversations and site visits with clients, in town and out of town, and meeting with a potential singer/chanter for The War on Christianity series Episode Six and Episode Seven. Plus putting up the family Christmas tree after Church on Sunday – and then nearly all day Monday as well. But it was truly worth it on all fronts!
The tree is exactly 8′ tall, with the angel touching the ceiling. There are approximately 1,000 small lights plus 4 strings of the old-fashioned bubble lights (which are what makes the all white blobs in the picture at left. Imagine the white glowing blobs as yellow at the top with a red or yellow base.
There are probably an equal number of decorations, ranging from egg carton ornaments my mother, my brother and I made in childhood, plus several more made in the same style made by Corkie, Christopher and Laurie and by me, all hand-painted in gold or silver. The oldest ornament is a tea pot my mother left me which had belonged to her grandmother. There are painted ornaments from the 1940s, plastic musical instruments, cloth ornaments made for Christopher and Laurie with the year indicated, many ShinyBrite brand ornaments my mother and father bought (and we still have many of the cartons) from W.T. Grant or J. J. Newberry (both chains long gone) in the 1950s. The angel on top is Corkie’s work. There are four Department 51 brand ceramic Santa Clauses which fit over light bulbs. There’s also a plastic drum-shaped ornament with an alumimun-bladed fan in the middle which moves as the heat from the lights increases.
The tree (bought from Costco just after Thanksgiving) doesn’t go up until mid-December because we celebrate Christmas in the old-fashioned way, honoring the Twelve Days of Christmas, which ends on the eve of Epiphany. We leave both the tree and the exterior decoration up or on until Jan. 6th. I’m the lighting person. Corkie and I hang ornaments together, usually a two-day process. When the children were little they too played a part in hanging the ornaments – and eating cookies, which Cookie made by the dozens. The grandmother clock in the right background is a new feature for 2017. Corkie bought it for $1 at a Church yard sale this Spring. We had a clock specialist come in, tune it up and getting it going. I plays 4, 8, 12 or 16 notes on the appropriate quarter hour, plus the hours chimes (Westminster tune) after the 16 notes at the top of the hour. Many other Christmas-related art has been hung since the picture was taken earlier this week.
The slides for Episode Six in The War on Christianity are complete. My friend Wayne Pask, a retired Lutheran minister, has agreed to chant the Te Deum Laudamus, which is the subject of both Episode Six and Episode Seven. Part One is sung and discussed, line by line, in Episode Six, with Parts Two and Three being the focus for Episode Seven. The Te Deum Laudamus was chosen as the best example of what I call The First Line of Defense in the War on Christianity: understanding the teachings of the Church. Both episodes are illustrated with historic art and quotations from either Scripture or Liturgy.
I invite readers to watch or listen to the installments of The Great “O” Antiphons series, which are archived on the Digital Library page.
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May God bless you in all that you do in His Name! Amen
Glory be to God for all things. Amen!