Advent Eve / Feast of Andrew – (Nov 30) Anticipation of Advent and commemoration of the first disciple of Jesus.
12 Days of Gold – (Dec 1-12) Celebration of Mary’s Motherhood, time for unlit Christmas decorations, and for placing Mary and the Angel in the crèche.
1st Day / Advent – Annunciation – Feast of Eligius – (Dec 1) Commemoration of the revelation of Jesus’ coming to Mary, and celebration of St. Eligius, patron of goldsmiths.
Golden Thursday / Observation of Advent– (Ultimate Thursday in the Dozen)
12th Day / Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe – (Dec 12)
12 Days of Light – (Dec 13-24) Celebration of the Star of Bethlehem, time for lit Christmas decorations, and for placing Joseph and the Star in the crèche.
1st Day / Feast of Lucia – (Dec 13) Celebration of St. Lucia, matron of light and sight.
Lightened Thursday / Observation of the Star – (Ultimate Thursday in the Dozen)
12th Day / Christmas Eve – (Dec 24)
12 Days of Christmas – (Dec 25 – Jan 5)
1st Day / Christmas Day – (Dec 25)
2nd Day / Feast of Stephen – (Dec 26) Celebration of the first martyr.
7th Day / New Year’s Eve – (Dec 31)
8th Day / New Year’s Day / Resolution Day – (Jan 1)
12th Day / Night of the Adoration – (Jan 5)
Epiphany – (Jan 6) Commemoration of the Adoration of the Magi and interfaith communion.
Nineteenth century minister Edmund Sears, who held to original Unitarianism during a time of radical upheaval in the Church, was the author of many theological works that were influential even outside of Unitarian Christianity.
But it was his poem of peace, written in the mid-1800s when the whole world seemed torn by war, that has become his greatest legacy. Despite its somewhat extreme pacifism, the melancholy and longing for peace suit well the principles of the Reformed Unitarian Church.
On Christmas Eve, share the American Unitarian Reform version of Reverend Sears’s It Came Upon A Midnight Clear:
It came upon a midnight clear, that glorious song of old,
_from angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the Earth, goodwill to all, from heaven’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come with peaceful wings unfurled,
_and still their heavenly music floats o’er all the weary world:
above its sad and lowly plains, they bend on hovering wing,
and ever o’er its Babel sounds, the blessèd angels sing.
Yet, with the woes of sin and strife, the world has suffered long;
_beneath the angel-strain have rolled two thousand years of wrong;
And we, at war with our kin, hear not the love-song which they bring.
O hush the noise, and cease your strife, to hear the angels sing.
And you, beneath life’s crushing load, whose forms are bending low,
_who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow:
look now, for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing!
For lo, the days are hastening on — by prophet bards foretold —
_when, with the ever-circling years, comes round the age of gold,
when peace shall, over all the earth, its ancient splendors fling,
and all the world give back the song which now the angels sing.