Advent begins in less than a week! This year’s Advent is the longest that Advent can possibly be, but it surely came up quickly, didn’t itly? I have three lovely things to share with you.
One is Incarnation, a new Christmas album by Sister|Sinjin, a musical group made up of Elizabeth Duffy (a fellow Patheos alum) and two of her friends, one Catholic and one Lutheran.
Once we realized we were a band and began thinking of a name, we knew we would feel inclined to self-identify more as mothers than musicians. Our various experiences of motherhood certainly bear down on these songs.
When I’ve been pregnant (I have six children) I almost always fall into a depression, inability to pray, distance from God, and a heavy darkness that lifts almost immediately once I’ve given birth. In the midst of those pregnancies, I’ve thought more than once that I should name my child for the author of The Dark Night of the Soul, St. John of the Cross.
As Kaitlyn notes, creativity often springs from this sometimes painful, always holy duty to bear and support the lives of others.
We hope you enjoy these songs, which both extend from, and are an homage to the darkening season of waiting for new life in our Beloved Savior.
Very beautiful stuff. You can hear a sample of two of the tracks here, and you can pre-order the album, which comes out December 2.
Second is a GIVEAWAY of this splendid Gospel Advent calendar by Maïte Roche, one of my all-time favorite Catholic illustrators. The artwork is just luminous (the cell phone photo below doesn’t do it justice), and the calendar opens into a scene that includes all of Bethlehem, with a window to open each day. You can hang it on the wall from a little grommet, or it will stand on its own on a tabletop.
Even better, it comes with a little illustrated companion booklet that provides prayers, short readings, meditations, and suggestions for each day. So much better than the usual routine, where the kids fight over whose turn it is, then mom gets mad and opens it herself, and then you just stand there staring at the little picture of a star or something. It will appeal to children, but would be helpful for adults, as well.
(As you can see, Corrie liked it so much, she took a bite of it, and then threw it in the dog’s water dish. At least I hope it was in that order. If your booklet is not wet, you can even color in the illustrations.)
Thanks to the publisher, Ignatius, I have one calendar to give away! Same rules as last time:
To enter, leave a comment on the blog, and that’s one entry. To get additional entries, share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ or elsewhere on social media, AND . . . IMPORTANT: Please leave a separate comment for each additional entry you would like to earn.
So if you want three entries, leave one comment saying “Me please!” [or whatever], one comment saying “I shared your post on FB” and one comment saying “I tweeted this post.” And so on.
NOTE: Don’t be concerned if your comment doesn’t show up right away in the combox. The comment moderator is a little strict at the moment, so I’ll be approving comments in batches as time allows. Thanks for your patience!
This will be a quckie contest, since Advent is right at our throats. Contest closes Tuesday, November 22, at noon, and I’ll notify the winners asap.
One last thing: One of these days, I’m gonna make me an Advent calendar like this. Each day leading up to Christmas, you get to punch something, and you get rewarded for it. Uh, for the kids. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Kids these days.
In addition, I would like to say that when I tagged this post music, WordPress suggested the tags “soul music” and “butt music.” That means my archives have arrived, and they’ve brought their tags. Hooray?