Sunday, December 16, 2012


Image courtesy of "fish eaters"
Today is the Third Sunday in Advent.  In several Christian traditions -- including the Anglican, of which I'm a part, the Advent Ember Days are observed this week.  "Ember" in this case doesn't refer to the coals of a dying fire.  Rather, it stems from the Anglo-Saxon word ymbren, meaning a circuit or revolution (ymb = around; ryne = a course, as in running).  In a nutshell, the Ember Days, which occur four times in the church year, are a Christian honouring of the meteorological seasons.  (Think Vivaldi, aka The Red Priest.)

The Advent Ember Days are intended as a reflection of Winter, a season of hope -- because despite the cold and snow, we await the arrival of the One Born in Bethlehem, whose Resurrection fills us with hope.  They are also a celebration of the Annunciation -- the appearance of the Angel Gabriel to Mary to inform her that God had chosen her to be the mother of the Christ -- and the Visitation, Mary's subsequent visit to her cousin Elizabeth, pregnant with the child who would grow up to be known as John the Baptizer.  

Between the Third and Fourth Sundays in Advent (or sometimes the week prior -- shortly after the Feast of St. Lucia (aka St. Lucy)), there are three designated Ember Days for fasting and reflection: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  Wednesday and Friday are traditional fast days in the Church; why Saturday was added is a bit complicated, so I invite you to read about it HERE.

All this is to say that I'm taking some time away from the computer -- or, more particularly, the blog.  I'm going to spend this time instead in personal reflection and examen in preparation for Christmas.  I'll be reading e-mails and maybe sneak a peak at Facebook from time to time, but quietly.  Quietly. "See" you next Sunday.  Have a blessed week!  In the meanwhile, pour yourself a cuppa, sit back, and enjoy...

"Winter" from The Four Seasons
Antonio Vivaldi
Running time: almost 10 minutes

P.S. And while I'm away...'Word Verification' is ON.  :-)


Jenny K. Lyon said...

Enjoy the peace!

California Fiber artist and composer said...

I am still trying to understand how the extra day was added!