The ‘twelve days of Christmas’ are a gift, meant to name and claim space in our hearts and homes for the Incarnation and the experience of joy that comes with meditating for 12 days on the overwhelming love of God in Christ.
The Season starts on Christmas Day
Shops, stores and malls start decorating for Christmas earlier and earlier each year. But what we also see happening sooner and sooner each year is that only a few days after Christmas, there are Christmas trees lying in the streets in front of apartment buildings and homes, sometimes with an ornament or glitter waving in the wind. It is as if ‘getting to Christmas’ is a marathon, exhausting people inside and outside of the Church, and folks are quick to put away the decorations and symbols in order to breathe and be still.
More than a song
In this rush into and out of the Christmas season, we often miss out on the twelve days of celebration and joy that are a part of our Episcopal tradition. The ‘twelve days of Christmas’ that begin on Christmas Day are more than a song: they are a gift in our liturgical year meant to name and claim space in our hearts and homes for the Incarnation and the experience of joy that comes with meditating for 12 days on the overwhelming love of God in Christ.
Practice Dwelling in Joy
We need to practice dwelling in joy. This “Guide to Joy” is a resource for individuals or families that want to slow down and spend time each day of the 12 Days of Christmas with good news, scripture, prayers and rich theological readings for lifelong learning. Each day has playful trivia and song, as well as devotional prayers and theologically rigorous sermons from the earliest centuries of the Christian faith for those who long to do deeper in their faith.
12 Days of Christmas Guide to Joy, full of song, prayers and theological readings taken from the New Albany Breviary, The Mystery of the Incarnation (Year 2) December 25, 2019-January 6, 2020.
The Rev. Dr. Patricia M. Lyons teaches and serves as Senior Advisor to the Dean for Evangelism Initiatives at Virginia Theological Seminary. She is a member of the Presiding Bishop’s cabint on evangelism and the working group for the Way of Love curricular and support resources. She is also the Hogwarts Chaplain; follow her on Facebook.
Featured image courtesy of Gertrud Mueller Nelson.