Spotify Playlist: Sing We Now of Christmas

Posted by Carolyn Pirtle on Dec 24, 2019 7:15:00 AM

Editorial Note: As our gift to you this Christmas, we've curated a Spotify playlist as a way of entering more deeply through music into the mystery of the Incarnation. You can learn more about this music in this Church Life Journal article

All around the world this Christmas season, Christians will be raising their voices in joyous praise, singing carols both old and new. Christmas music is unique in the liturgical music canon, because it becomes imprinted with the joys and sorrows of each holiday season; every year, there are carols that will never fail to bring a smile, but there are also carols that can pierce the heart by conjuring up memories of Christmases past or of loved ones long deceased. The beautiful thing is, the mystery of Christmas itself is capacious enough to hold all of it—the unbridled joy, the weariness, the uncertainty, even the sorrow, for all of these are found in the Gospel narratives of Christ’s birth. 

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Topics: Incarnation, liturgical music, music, Christmas, Christmas carols

Walking with Mary These Final Advent Days

Posted by Lesley Kirzeder on Dec 18, 2019 7:14:00 AM

Advent and Christmas have always held a particular meaning to me depending on the season and space of my life; the way I’ve internalized their meaning changes depending on who and where I am at the time. I’ve been a mother for 13 Christmases now. For the majority of that time, Advent and Christmas have been about making the season magical for my kids in that sparkly, sugar-dusted-self-defeating sort of way. Where puffs of flour appear in the air each time someone opens our door and our calendar is color coded and overloaded. Of course, all this magic-making inevitably stresses me out beyond the point of no return, negating the very magic I try to create.  Sure, it’s also been about helping my children come to learn about the salvific birth of our Lord, who came to save the world, teach us to love, and lead us to heaven, and I think (largely thanks to their amazing teachers) they get that. But all of this magic-making has, slowly but surely over the last 13 years, replaced my own grasp of what this season is supposed to be for me. 

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Topics: liturgical music, Mary, motherhood, Advent, Christmas, Christmas carols

The Christmas Crèche: Inculturation and the Incarnation, Part 3

Posted by Theresa Rice on Dec 17, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Editorial Note: This series features Nativity sets from Africa on display in the McGrath Institute for Church Life’s Sixth Annual International Crèche Exhibit

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Topics: inculturation, visual arts, Advent, Christmas, crèche, Nativity scene

The Christmas Crèche: Inculturation and the Incarnation, Part 2

Posted by Theresa Rice on Dec 11, 2019 7:02:00 AM

Editorial Note: This series features Nativity sets from Africa on display in the McGrath Institute for Church Life’s Sixth Annual International Crèche Exhibit.

Though the Christmas story centers around the joy of the birth of Jesus, who will bring “peace on earth,” and the promise of “God and sinners reconciled,” it nevertheless leaves important space for the darkness and difficulty of human life. From Mary’s fearful awe at the momentous Annunciation to the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt and the slaughter of the Holy Innocents, the Nativity story itself incorporates the brokenness of the world that Christ came to save. The crèche, then, as an artistic depiction of the Nativity, can emphasize the joy of Christmas, but it also invites moments of recognizing the pains, burdens, or fears which accompany human life.

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Topics: inculturation, visual arts, Advent, Christmas, crèche, Nativity scene

A Catholic Approach to Gift-Giving

Posted by Katie Diltz on Dec 4, 2019 7:03:00 AM

Every year, I find myself struggling with Christmas gift shopping. I want to be generous, I like to give people gifts, but I don’t want to give in to the temptation of consumerism that plagues us during the holidays. 

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Topics: Laudato Si', holidays, gift giving, Christmas

Living and Handing on the Faith

The McGrath Institute Blog helps Catholics live and hand on their faith in Jesus Christ, especially in the family, home and parish, and cultivates and inspires everyday leaders to live out the fullness and richness of their faith in the simple, little ways that make up Church life.

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