For those unfamiliar with the term:
Synonyms: coming - arrival - appearance
We can look at both definitions this weekend. First, the liturgical one:
An Advent Wreath
"The Advent wreath, or Advent crown, is a Christian tradition that symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent in the liturgical calendar of the Western church. The Advent Wreath is traditionally a Lutheran practice, albeit it has spread to many other Christian denominations.<1><2><3>
It is usually a horizontal evergreen wreath with four candles and often, a fifth, white candle in the center. Beginning with the First Sunday of Advent, the lighting of a candle can be accompanied by a Bible reading and prayers. An additional candle is lit during each subsequent week until, by the last Sunday before Christmas, all four candles are lit. Some Advent wreaths include a fifth, "Christ" candle which can be lit at Christmas. The custom is observed both in family settings and at public church services.
The ring or wheel of the Advent wreath of evergreens decorated with candles was a symbol in northern Europe long before the arrival of Christianity. The circle symbolized the eternal cycle of the seasons while the evergreens and lighted candles signified the persistence of life in the midst of winter. Some sources suggest the wreath—now reinterpreted as a Christian symbol—was in common use in the Middle Ages, others that it was established in Germany as a Christian custom only in the 16th century.
Other evidence suggests that the Advent wreath was not invented until the 19th century.<4> Research by Prof. Haemig of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, points to Johann Hinrich Wichern (1808–1881), a Protestant pastor in Germany and a pioneer in urban mission work among the poor as the inventor of the modern Advent wreath. During Advent, children at the mission school Rauhes Haus, founded by Wichern in Hamburg, would ask daily if Christmas had arrived. In 1839, he built a large wooden ring (made out of an old cartwheel) with 19 small red and 4 large white candles. A small candle was lit successively every weekday during Advent. On Sundays, a large white candle was lit. The custom gained ground among Protestant churches in Germany and evolved into the smaller wreath with four or five candles known today. Roman Catholics in Germany began to adopt the custom in the 1920s, and in the 1930s it spread to North America.<5> Professor Haemig's research also indicates that the custom did not reach the United States until the 1930s, even among German Lutheran immigrants.
In Medieval times advent was a fast during which people's thoughts were directed to the expected second coming of Christ; but in modern times it has been seen as the lead up to Christmas, and in that context Advent Wreath serves as a reminder of the approach of the feast.
More recently, some Eastern Orthodox families have adopted an Advent wreath with six candles symbolizing the longer Christmas fast in Orthodox tradition, which corresponds to Advent in Western Christianity..." Wikipedia
This variation is a Lucia Crown, part of the festival celebrated in Northern Europe...on December 13th. Again, it is most likely a borrowing from medieval times of a pagan tradition.
So, we await the Darkness, and the Light that is to come after, and a Savior, or Redeemer....and since Barack Obama has most impolitely refused the honor, despite considerable coaxing, as the rabbi and Motel said in "Fiddler on the Roof":
Rabbi: We'll have to wait for him someplace else. Meanwhile, let's start packing.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - Enya
We'll be featuring Enya as our Artist, this weekend. She has a certain following...
Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin
The Silver Lady
5' 2" (1.57 m)
Eithne, the fourth youngest of nine children, comes from the small village of Dore (Dobhar in Irish) in the Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair) region of County Donegal in the northwest of the Republic of Ireland. She now lives in Killiney, a coastal district on the southern outskirts of Dublin The family is very musical and her parents played in a family dance band before settling down. Her father owns a local pub - Leo's tavern in Meenalech (min na Leice) - and her mother Baba taught music in the local school. In 1968, elder brothers Ciaran & Pol, and uncles Padraigh & Noel O Dugain, formed the band "An Clan As Dobhar" to perform traditional Irish music at festivals etc. Changing their name to Clannad, and recruiting sister Maire Brennan in 1973, the band have gone on to international success performing both their own and traditional material. They have recorded a number of albums. Enya joined Clannad in 1980 and, credited under her real name, provided keyboards and (mostly) backing vocals. She appears on their 1982 album "Fuaim". It is often said that she also appeared on their 1980 album "Crann Ull" although she is not listed in the credits. In 1982, Clannad split with their long time manager and producer Nicky Ryan. Eithne, apparently frustrated with being left in the background, left at the same time and, in Ryan's belief that she had talent in her own right, moved to live with him and his wife Roma Ryan and develop her own musical career. In 1985, film producer David Puttnam commissioned Eithne to write music for his film The Frog Prince (1986/II) which was released in 1985. The Titles on The Frog Prince (1986/II) credit music to Enya Ni Bhraonain and the transition of Eithne to Enya had begun. In 1986, BBC-TV began work on a six part documentary series charting the history and continuing cultural influence of the Celts. Enya was signed to write and perform music for the series. "The Celts" (1987) was first shown in 1987 and a selection of its music released under the title "Enya", giving the artist her first album, largely unnoticed at the time. Her 'big break' began in 1987 when she was signed by Rob Dickins, head of WEA Music UK, after he had heard and been entranced by the "Enya" album. WEA's backing made the recording of "Watermark" possible and the album was released in 1988. Although no singles were originally planned, it was the release "Orinoco Flow" (Sail Away) that brought Enya to public attention and resulted in an unexpected chart number one in several countries. She continued the success with her next albums "shepherd Moons" and "The Celts"...Often sings in a mix of Latin and Irish Gaelic.
She adopted the spelling "Enya" in order to avoid having to continually explain how to pronounce her true first name, "Eithne."...Comes from a region in the West of Ireland where the Gaelic language is still spoken. Although Enya can speak fluent English, her first language is Gaelic.
She creates her signature sound by layering as many as eighty tracks of her own voice...The late Pope John Paul II was reportedly a big fan of her music. She was even invited to the Vatican to sing for him.
Enya's house on Killiney Hill Road in Dalkey, Ireland.
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