Whenever I write about the "end of the church year" I always feel like the reader is reacting something like most of us do when we read about the coming of the latest Chinese New Year or the beginning of the next Jewish year--meaning that most Chinese, Jews and Christians aren't really fluent in the nuances of the changeover to their "new" year.
Regardless, we are indeed entering the last week of the Christian Church's year--liturgical year. Another, much more understandable way to say it might be this: Advent starts next Sunday. That might help--or not!
This has all been an introduction to these new photos:
Every (calendar) year at the end of November and early December, the sun in our part of the globe takes on a characteristic angle that mixes with the southern wall of our stained glass windows to produce reflections and refractions that appear only at this time.The two window photos in the right hand column were also taken in early December--in two different years.
What makes these two rather special to me are that 1) the sun was so bright that it made the colors inside the chapel as bright as I've ever seen them and 2) this is best I've seen the colors on the back of our wooden chairs--bright, bright. And beautiful. It is really tempting to want to do one of those National Geographic-type experiments where you could spend 4 hours just sitting in chapel, taking photos every 5 minutes or so, to catch the whole progression of this phenomenon and various iterations that would occur with such a vigil.
BTW, as a New Year's gift, I'd gladly send the original electronic copy of either of these photos to any of you who would like one. Just email me and tell me which one (or both) that you'd like, I'll attach them and off they'll go to you. Only ask that if you post them or share them you would credit the place Mount St. Benedict Monastery in Erie, PA and me as the photographer.
Happy New Year!
PS. Joan's book, The Liturgical Year, is both a readable, educational and enjoyable look at the Christian "Church year"...available through amazon for less than $5.00