About this blogger:
Veronica Brandt holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. As editor, she has produced fine publications (as well as valuable reprints) dealing with Gregorian chant, hymnody, Latin, and other subjects. These publications are distinguished on account of their tastefulness. She lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her husband Peter and five children.
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“I still haven’t made up my mind whether I shall publish it all. Some people are so humorless, so uncharitable, and so absurdly wrong-headed, that one would probably do far better to relax and enjoy life than worry oneself to death trying to instruct or entertain a public which will only despise one’s efforts, or at least feel no gratitude for them. Most readers know nothing about canon law. Many regard it with contempt and find everything heavy going that isn’t completely lowbrow. Some are so grimly serious that they disapprove of all humor. Others come to different conclusions every time they stand up or sit down. They seize upon your publications, as a wrestler seizes upon his opponent’s hair, and use them to drag you down, while they themselves remain quite invulnerable, because their barren pates are completely bald, so there’s nothing for you to get hold of.”
— St. Thomas More to Peter Gilles, 1516

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Trimmings on Advent
published 30 November 2013 by Veronica Brandt

Advent Wreath HE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT marks an increase in tempo in most families. The shops are well into the swing of the silly season, the calendar is littered with end of year parties and concerts and Christmas cards begin to appear.

Once, or so I’m told, there were many popular feast days kept all around the year. Now it seems that they all telescope into the month of December. We have St Nicholas’ Day on the 6th, the Immaculate Conception on the 8th, St Lucy on the 13th, each with amazing possibilities for special food and minor rituals. Then there are Advent calendars, Jesse Trees and nativity scenes to consider.

Fisheaters gives a good Advent Overview, but like all customs it is worth bearing in mind that many of these are trimmings. These are not the essentials. There is a lot of latitude for finding our own family’s balance at this time of year.

The photo is our advent wreath for this year. Instead of our usual conglomeration of greenery from the garden we have a synthetic substitute. Much more compact but lacks the fun of dried leaves catching on fire during the family rosary. If this one burns it will smell awful.

How do you keep Advent?

(Happy St Andrew’s Day too!)