Thursday, December 4, 2008

Anne Rice on Advent and Christmas

I am about to read Anne Rice's new book Called Out of Darkness for a second time. I just finished a quick read of it today and want to read it more slowly before I make a huge review of it. I would without hesitation tell people to buy it.

There is a lot there and her description of growing up in Catholic New Orleans is something else.

She makes quite a point of bringing out how the whole city lived and breathed the Liturgical Seasons.

She really goes into the Christmas and Advent season. There seems to be at times ADVENT PURISTS. You have met them- we should not be putting up Christmas trees, listening to Carols till it is actually Christmas!!!! I see their point but at times they get annoying.

I learned today in a part of her book that the Church or Catholic Culture was not exactly this demanding.

She recalls her Christmas New Orleans times as a child in some detail. Much of it revolves around manger scenes. If you read her fiction book The Witching Hour you sort of get a glimpse of this.

Anyway the Mangers were up in the Churches way before Christmas. In fact people building huge Manger scenes in their yards were a big deal in New Orleans. Rice remarks it was a special time. She does recall as she puts it someone or some people in the Church decided that we needed to do this at Christmas and remarks with sadness how it seemed this made Christmas time way way to short. The fact that Mardi Gras Season starts very soon after Christmas perhaps made this shortness even more apparent. I think she is right.

She also mentions how she can never quite understand people that go to the extreme on talking about the commercialization of Christmas. She recalled in her youth gong to the Christmas stores , like Mason Blanche, and how the stores were directed and the Christmas music.

She called these stores if I recall correctly an extension of "Sacred Space". That this "Sacred Space" is sometimes needed especially for those that might have lost their faith or for someone that is an unbeliever. I think that is very true and is sometimes overlooked.

One think that struck me also was as an atheist she would look forward too and even need two films. That is It is a Wonderful Life and Scrooge. She remarks that these are still some of the most watched films each year and laments that modern day TV and Movies cannot do shows of the same quality. Again why are they most watched? It is not just Christians. Why do non Christians need these films?

Anyway she had some rather interesting observations on Christmas, Advent, and our surrounding culture.


Carlos Echevarria said...

Wow, you are alive buddy...

Starting getting concerned about you buddy up there in Jindal country.

Respectfully, I think Sarah Palin showed in GA, who the big guns of the party are!!!

James H said...

LOL Yeah I took the days around Thanskgiving OFF lol

I think Sarah did wel ofr him up there