Unto thee, O Lord, will I lift up my soul; my God, I have put my trust in thee, O let me not be confounded: neither let mine enemies triumph over me: for all they that hope in thee shall not be ashamed.
Ps. Show my Thy ways, O Lord: and teach me thy paths.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
Introit for the First Sunday in Advent
A Manual of Catholic Devotion
For Members of the Church of England
Revised edition 1969
In previous years I have commemorated the beginning of the Church Festival of Christmastide by looking at the music of the season. Last year I looked at a few of the many versions of Messiah that master creation of Charles Jennens and George Frederick Handel. And in 2014 I looked at some Advent Carols – those perhaps less familiar melodies that herald the approaching Nativity. That was a something I had started in 2013 along with looking at some of the traditions of Advent.
By way of a change this year I thought I’d look at some of the stories of Advent and Christmastide written over the years. Rather than copying and pasting them I’m going to link to them with a brief introduction. Some have a religious theme, others speak to family, friends, the loneliness of the season, or perhaps they address the mythology Christian and Pagan of Christmastide.
Anton Chekhov is best know for his plays but he was also the author of some 200 short stories. His At Christmas Time is a sad little vignette with tragic overtones written in 1904, the last year of his life. In a few paragraphs he tells us everything we need to know about Vasilisa and Pyotr and their longing to see their beloved Yefimya. And in a few more lines the cause of their mutual sadness at Christmas time is revealed. A left click on the portrait of Anton Pavlovich will take you to their story.