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Don’t rush Advent, says Archbishop

Take your time…for Advent. Archbishop Jason Gordon is challenging Catholics to be attentive to the observance and enjoy the “waiting” period before the birth of Jesus Christ.

He said the Advent season was being lost when Christmas decorations are put up from as early as October and Christmas songs being sung and played on radio.

“The crèche or Christmas tree should be done for the octave of Christmas, the week before Christmas” (December 15–16) he said November 20, on Ask the Archbishop live chat on Facebook.  He called Advent a beautiful time of year with the readings and incredible themes.

“It is the season of great paradox. In the season of Advent, we are holding things that cannot be easily held together, the desert but it is still blooming, of course it does not make sense… In the moments of our dryness and our darkness are also the moments our spirit does different things and we only see that looking back. That is what Advent does. It helps us to see it by ritualising the time of waiting; this incredible looking forward to the time of Christ,” he said.

Asked by Social Media Officer Tshenelle Bethel-Peters how Catholics can place emphasis on Advent, he commented, “It is a cultural war”. He disclosed that he kept the Christmas decorations at Archbishop’s House, Maraval Road, “away as late as possible and I keep them up late until February 2.” He challenged Catholics to celebrate Advent as Advent and “Christmas as Christmas”.

Although he was invited by schools or organisations to bless trees during Advent, he did not decline these invitations saying “How do I say ‘no’ to them because it is not Christmas?” In the case of schools, he stated they would be closed for Christmas.

Archbishop Gordon however invited the faithful to keep the symbols of Advent, the candles. He added, “Let’s make a big thing of putting up Christmas decorations for Christmas octave.” The decorations could remain up until the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, February 2.

“So, delay, delay putting it up and when that is put up there is a whole other joy that’s amazing! And after the Christmas enjoy it until the second of February,” he insisted.

—LPG