Ode to O: the story behind the "O Antiphons"

December 17th begins the octave before Christmas and that can mean only one thing: O Antiphons! Oh?  Oh yes! You know parts of them from “O Come,  O Come, Emmanuel” (a haunting, richly executed version is below, courtesy the Mormon Tabernacle Choir).  But there is so much more. Fr. William Saunders notes: The “O Antiphons” [Read More...]

Further evidence that Christmas is going to the dogs

I haven’t made up my mind about whether this is weird, or hilarious, or both. But it’s…something. [Read more...]

Now THAT'S a Christmas concert!

We had the annual Christmas concert at my parish last weekend. For those who couldn’t make it to Queens, no problem. You can see some highlights right here. Enjoy.  It’s a glorious event, in a glorious setting. [Read more...]

Looking for a room in Bethlehem? Good luck

Turns out, the tourism business is booming, according to CNS: With five new hotels in the works, a handful of new souvenir shops opening recently and nearly 40 restaurants able to serve crowds from 100 to 1,000, the Bethlehem economy is showing signs of recovery following the desperate intifada years. For the first time in [Read More...]

Archbishop Grinch

I have to wonder what the parents thought of this. Details, from AFP: A Roman Catholic archbishop surprised his parishioners in Argentina by telling the children that Santa Claus was not real, but instead a commercialized symbol of Christmas. “That’s not Christmas,” Archbishop Fabriciano Sigampa of the northern city of Resistencia said in mass, insisting [Read More...]

The Priests' version of "The Little Drummer Boy"

Those with warm memories of the Bing Crosby/David Bowie rendition of this classic will want to check out this new interp, featuring Shane MacGowan.  CNS, meantime, has an interesting write-up about this version. Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum… [Read more...]

"Chradvent," anyone?

Back on the first Sunday of Advent, I preached about the tendency to mush together Advent and Christmas into one unhealthy season — and I encouraged people to make Advent matter.    Well, it turns out the Bishop of Salt Lake City had some very similar ideas, and issued his first pastoral letter at the [Read More...]

How would the Nativity be handled today?

Why, digitally, of course.  Here’s an inspired look at how it might unfold. Merry Digital Christmas! [Read more...]