My life revolves around Sundays. Often, because I think about it quite a bit, I know the date of any given Sunday in the year, without looking. Also, much of my time is spent preparing for (or recovering from) a Sunday.
I’m making it sound much worse than it is, I don’t mind it at all. In fact, I think there’s something of value and life-giving about living your life revolving around regular worship and celebration.
Being more attentive to the liturgical calendar, or the seasons of the Church, can be good for us. I know it sounds kind-a boring and regimented, but it doesn’t have to be. It can do for us what the word “ritual” originally meant, which is to enhance life.
I like to spend an appropriate amount of time in the season of Advent before jumping into the joy of the Christmas celebration. Now I’m not a stickler about restricting carols and decorations to their appropriate season. I rarely object if someone suggests that we have the desert before the main course. But, as a regular habit, that’s probably not the best course.
Let’s keep in mind that there’s nothing in the seasons of the Church year that’s accidental, it is all meant to enhance our life and enable us to worship well and to celebrate the Good News (every Sunday). Patiently waiting for the next season is good for us. Waiting and anticipation can be periods of great learning.
I like surprises, at least the good ones. I don’t like, however, planned surprises, especially the dreaded surprise parties. I never plan them and I don’t want one thrown for me. Surprise parties rob the honoured guest of the best part of the party—the anticipation. Advent is a season of anticipation. We know what where waiting for, we know the Christmas story, which makes the waiting all the more precious.
We should try harder, as a community, to relish the seasons of waiting, like Advent and Lent. They are times of rest and preparation. Everything needs rest in order to grow.