Monday, January 02, 2006

When to Strike?

Before I begin, a sidenote.

I was getting ready for the Annual Family Holiday Wrap-Up Bash today -- which makes, since Christmas Eve, seven get-togethers with more than 50 blood-related people in the room -- and flipping channels on the satellite radio when Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" came on.

Usually, it's the kind of song that makes me wince, as it screams "CLERICALISM" loud and clear like a jackhammer into my brain... as if it ever went away. But I've come to chuckle on hearing it lately after stories circulated from an episcopal ordination in the not-too-distant past. On that day, I'm told, the possibility of the euphoric principal consecrator belting the tacky song out to his beloved son-made-bishop presented itself at any given moment, and the local clergy were bracing themselves to duck, vomit, pass out, something.

Suffice it to say, if I were there and anything approaching that happened, I would have died laughing and wouldn't still be here to write for you, so let's all be grateful -- even though that would've been possibly the most insurmountably amusing ecclesiastical moment of all time. What a piss.

That said, I have digressed, your patience is appreciated, and it's time to get to business.

As the New Year has passed, it's time to ask the immortal question: When do you take down your Christmas decorations? Many people out there have already darkened the lights and thrown the tree out but, of course, we know better.

The Octave is over, but not the Season. It's not yet Epiphany. So, when?

It's funny, coming from where I do. You ask the old Italian yentas when they take theirs down and the answer is all the same "The Epiphany, January 6th."

Amazing how, 30 years since the recognitio of the transferral of Epiphany to the Sunday between the 2nd and the 8th in the US and a handful of other places, our people still don't have a damn clue about it, something which flies in the face of the reason given for the change: their enhanced participation.

Sensus fidelium, or just plain wool-over-the-eyes? Whatever the case, that it hasn't translated on ground level doesn't make the liturgical renewal look good at all. (We can talk who's to blame at another time.)

But enough about the rest, what about you? When do Catholics toss the tree? Epiphany? Baptism? Is the end of the Octave sufficient? Comments are open on this one -- but please, please, just answer the question. Don't tell me you love me, don't tell me you hate Liturgiam OW`tent-EE-kahm. Just answer the question.

All thanks and knock yourselves out.



Blogger Paul Goings said...

The tree comes down after the Octave of the Epiphany (or during if it looks especially dry and ragged).

The crib comes down after the Purification on Feb. 2nd.

3/1/06 09:33  
Blogger Fred said...

The tree comes down as soon as the 17-year-old and his mother can get to it (I think the weekend after Christmas day). The Creche will remain up until Epiphany (whichever Epiphany is later). The lights will remain on through Epiphany, but will come down when it gets warm.

3/1/06 11:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I usually take down my tree and any greenery around Epiphany (6 January, I mean), and I leave the Nativity set up until 2 February.

3/1/06 11:20  
Blogger Fr Martin Fox said...

After Epiphany.

I hadn't been tuned in to the February 2 thing, so I'll keep that in mind for the creche...

3/1/06 11:54  
Blogger Dcn Scott Dodge said...

Our Christmas decorations come down on Epiphany. As a convert I relish Christmas and all liturgical seasons. Christmas conceived of as only one day adds to the much whined about commercialization. Heck, on Epiphany we bless our house, sing carols as we drag our tree out, make the cake with coin, etc.

I really think keeping a liturgical sense of the Christmas lies with the domestic Church.

3/1/06 15:12  
Blogger Paul Goings said...

Memo to P.Goings:

Didn't Thomas Cranmer do away with ashes, candles 'The Purification' and all that popery?

He gave it his best shot, I guess, but the Anglo-Catholics brought it all back with a vengeance!

In any case, even Cranmer kept the Purification.

3/1/06 15:32  

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