Tuesday, December 25, 2007

So...Christmas

First, let me say that I'm feeling very guilty. It was very cold last night (for Louisiana - it hit 30). The semi-feral cats, Fido and Rover (yes, I did name them. sigh.) would usually go inside my neighbor's apartment on nights like that. However, neighbor is a student, and she is somewhere else right now. So all last night, whenever I'd move, or turn on a light or anything, Fido would scratch furiously at my window. I'm talking 10 or 15 minutes straight. I think she and Rover wanted in, but I can't do that. I'm horribly, horribly allergic, and I have no cat supplies, if you get my drift. I put out extra food and water, and I put out a box with a couple old t-shirts in it, along with an old rug on the concrete of my "deck" so that they could find someplace semi-warm at least if they wanted it. But I feel really bad. I guess I'm just an old softie.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Christmas Eve worship at my church always leaves me feeling conflicted. I always go to the 11 p.m. liturgy, because the earlier service has a whole lot of kids and no Eucharist. I love it, because it is quiet (no choir - of course, we don't have a choir on Christmas for either service. That's the disadvantage of being in a university town and depending on the school of music for not only the director but also about half the members), and dark, and intimate. I love night time workship in general for that reason.

But at the same time, I spend about half the service trying not to cry. Christmas was one of the only times during the year when my mom, dad, and I all went to church together (Easter and one or two other weeks were the others). My mom either went to her church, the Lutheran church that was closer to us (but that she didn't really like because she didn't know anyone), or the Presbyterian church down the street (because everyone needs a Presbyterian church down the street). Even though she married a Catholic, and was raising a Catholic child (and doing a better job of it that most of the Catholic parents, thank you very much), she really wasn't comfortable in the Catholic church. I can't blame her. I don't think I'd want to worship somewhere where I was unable to participate fully, either.

So worship on Christmas always reminds me of those times together. Going to church was always my favorite part of Christmas because it was the three of us, and just the three of us. I didn't have to face my aunt (who really didn't seem to like me, though she was never nasty in her words - just her actions), or any cousins I barely knew. I didn't have to sit at a kids' table by myself when I was well into my teens.

But now, when I go to church on Christmas, and see all those families together, it makes me really sad. I still miss my parents, as acutely as I did right after they died. And it's not like it's only been a few years. As of this April it will be 15 years (!) since my dad died and as of June, 13 years since my mom died. I wonder sometimes if that will ever fade. I mean, I get through "real life" just fine, though I think of my parents every day. But those special occasions, holidays, Mother's Day, weird little random days during the years, it hits me hard.

Maybe it's because I spend most of those days alone. Oh, I get invitations for holidays most of the time (though I didn't for this Christmas), but I hate spending holidays with other people's families. It's weird and awkward, and sometimes makes the missing more...tangible.

Sigh. What a downer. Sorry, internet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But to end on an up note, I'm cooking for the third day in a row. This time, I am trying to make a roast chicken in the crock pot. My mom was always afraid to try that (she worked with meat, and knew all about salmonella), but the internet says it really does work well. And the internet never lies, does it?

If it does work I'll post the recipie. I'll post the recipie for the beef tips I made yesterday, too. Except I couldn't find sirloin at the grocery store (what's up with that?), so I had to use stewing beef, which meant the meat utterly fell apart while cooking. Still, it was good, and the gravy was tasty.

OK, I need to get to work now, I suppose. Yes, you read that right. I'm working from home, at least (unless I didn't copy everything I need onto my jump drive), but I have about 5 hours of work ahead of me today.

Crap. As I typed that, I realized that there are about 5 or 6 files I didn't copy. Sigh. I'm waiting until it gets warmer to go outside, though. It's still in the mid 40's

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One more thing, if LP happens along here...is "lovingkindness" something that is written in some worship materials somewhere just like that? Is it a throwback to German (I don't know much of it, but I know they are well known for smushing words together to make new ones)? Or does our church secretary just think that it is all one word? It appears in our worship bulletin like that just about every week, and it drives me crazy just about every week.

4 comments:

LutherPunk said...

I only know of the term lovingkindness in a strictly Buddhist context, as something that is integral to the Vipassana tradition. Not sure if it somehow has some cognates or roots in the German, or if it is even connected to Lutheranism at all...how is it used in the bulletin?

Sheryl said...

Always in the context of prayers. Usually in ones the congregation says (most notably the confession), but last night it was in one that either the assiting minister or the pastor said. When I go out to the car, I'll bring in the worship bulletin and tell you which one.

Sheryl said...

OK. Last night it was in the assisting minister's prayer after communion "Merciful God, renew us by your Holy Spirit, poured out richly in this meal, and renew all creation with your lovingkindness until all the ends of the earth rejoice in your salvation; through Jesus Crhist, the Word made flesh."


I couldn't find a worship bulletin with it in the congregation's part of the confession (though I know it has been). Last week, it was in the pastor's invitation to confession (which probably isn't the right term, but I haven't really learned how the names of the liturgy parts translate from Catholic yet).

"Blessed be the Holy Trinity, the God of goodness and lovingkindness, whose Son was sent to save us and whose Spirit is poured out on us and renews us."


I don't know if it helps you, but there is a footnote in the bulletin that the prayers come from Sundays and Sesons from Augsburg Fortress.

It just seems weird for the secretary to keep making the same typo week after week.

LutherPunk said...

Weird...