And it's Advent again. The year has cycled around, and after the final days of the 34 weeks of Ordinary Time I can take a deep breath as the liturgy turns us into the expectation of Advent. Everything seems fresh: the colours have changed, the collects and antiphons have changed, and the lovely Alma Redemptoris Mater instead of the Salve Regina at the end of Compline. The gorgeous rich purple of Advent is everywhere, reminding me that we're in a time of deepening again.
The Advent wreath is sitting on the hearth and the Christmas tree - untrimmed - in its place between the dining and living rooms. The Holy Family and Magi have started their separate journeys, and the shepherd, sheep, and cow are gathered in the stable. We have decided this year to try to keep Advent and Christmastide more separated, so will trim our tree on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and keep all the decorations up for the full forty days of Christmastide (until Candlemas - the feast of the Presentation - on 2 February). It will be interesting to see how it goes! I had floated this idea (or something similar) last year and small daughter suggested that we try it this year. The only reason we got the tree out at all was that small daughter said that we needed the Star for the Magi to follow!
So many other things going on at present, it is a relief to relax into the liturgy. We even sang O come, O come, Emmanuel and Lo, he comes with clouds descending today in church: I was hoping for them, especially O come.
I was annoyed that I couldn't get the Advent badge to work on my blog too...