Saturday, November 26, 2011

Out of order

I'm reading Connie Willis' Blackout about time traveling graduate students working out of Oxford in 2060. (It's a terrific read, and the sequel just came out, so you don't have suffer through the wait to resolve the coming cliffhanger.) Her historians suffer from time-lag, the symptoms not so different from the jet-lag I've suffered with this semester, their bodies refusing to aquiesce to the "when" all the evidence points to that they are in.

All signs point to the start of Advent today. I pulled Volume 1 of the breviary off my shelf, I rehearsed an Advent psalm, and Advent invocations for the penitential rite. I have the new text of the Mass marked up. I have written an Advent reflection (or two). It was pitch dark not long after 5 pm. But interiorly, I still feel utterly rooted in Ordinary Time. I want to reach for the green volume of the Office, and have no desire to crank up the Advent playlist. Advent is my favorite liturgical season — I look forward every year to looking forward — so I wonder why this uncharacteristic foot-dragging.

Is anyone else feeling unready to let go of autumn and/or Ordinary Time, or is it just me?

And now a package from Lent has appeared in a box in the further add to my sense of chronological dislocation!


  1. The temperature and sky are not, but I am really, really, most extremely ready for a new year, liturgically and otherwise.

    I celebrated by going to a vigil mass this afternoon. I was underwhelmed by the new musical settings, but I remained undeterred; my guess is that among all those 100s of Catholics, I was one of the people most grateful to be there.

    (And, yes, I expect to pay heavily for that little venture for at least the next 24 hours.)

  2. Robin, indeed, a lot of newness of life should be yours (and if it speeds things along for you, I would willingly forgo my "change of seasons"!)

  3. I think the unseasonably warm weather makes the seasonal change seem unnatural. It's not "beginning to look a lot like Christmas", regardless of how many times they play that song!

    Also--we had a week of November after Thanksgiving this year. Somehow that changes things too.

  4. I suspect the weather has a lot to do with it. Snow, rain, warm days, sun, all mixed up!

  5. I'm not ready for this new year right now either, and I'm not sure the weather is what's doing it. Glad not to be alone in this, especially as I see the whole world around me all dolled up for Christmas already!! (Hmm, maybe THAT'S what's dragging me back.)

  6. I did not feel like I was ready at all, but going to mass on Saturday brought me to a new place.

    Part of it for me was mixed feelings about the new translation, but it was not so bad. Like Robin, I think the new musical settings leave something to be desired - but having been immersed in them for awhile, that was not so much on my heart.

    While the settings are what they are, we had some beautiful Advent music from our beautiful music ministry and the presence of our pastor, who is not afraid to stand in ambiguity. In fact, he always does and it is such an invitation to one and all. He has done so with all things leading up to this and we stumbled through - all of us, including him - messing up at some point or another.

    I will tell you this - I never heard everyone trying to say something in quite this way and everyone was paying attention.

    In any case, the weather does seem all wrong for this time of year doesn't it?

    Who knows Michelle, time warp and space warp and who knows what else, but here we are, tumbling down the rabbit hole into this season. It is a privilege to walk with you, Robin and others, seeking the Light.