Friday, December 24, 2010

On the Eve of the Nativity

It’s Christmas Eve morning and the sky is gray. We’re hoping for a white Christmas while also praying for safe travels for our loved ones en route to share the holiday with friends and family. In the midst of cleaning and cooking and all the preparations for tonight (Nativity Feast at St. John Orthodox Church here in midtown Memphis) and tomorrow (our Christmas dinner at home, with Jonathan and a few friends from St. John) I’m pausing to share a few favorite Christmas videos. Enjoy!

MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS VIDEO EVER: Serbian Christmas carol video.

Actually, that was the "rehearsal" for this video.

Romanian Nativity Hymn with talanton—the wooden boards that are “played” before the bells are rung at the beginning of worship services.

Arabic Byzantine Hymn (chanted) of the Nativity.

Russian Orthodox Christmas celebration in Moscow (January 7)

I love the ICONS in this Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas Story.
Be sure and keep watching… about 4 minutes in, the story is told with the folk icons.

This is the style I was copying when I did the painting with my Goddaughter, Sophie, of Ethiopian folk art.

And finally, an entry from one of my favorite secular artists—Sting: “If On a Winter’s Night.”

As I suspected, more beautiful Christmas cards have arrived since my last post, and I’d like to share two very creative ones with you to end this post. (And yes, two more that aren’t hand-crafted but are beautiful, so I put them in with this post, here...

... and here.

First, from Sarah and Joel Finley in Nashville, this hand-crafted card (that unfolds to reveals a Christmas letter on the back) was lovely. The Finleys have a CD out and you can buy it on their Facebook Page, or their web site: Lulu Mae Music.

And the final card I’ll feature this year is from our friends Michael and Margaret Elliott (Margaret is our fabulous choir director at St. John). The card features their sons, Paul and James, and it’s in the shape of a Christmas ornament, complete with string for hanging. If you listened to some of the Orthodox Christmas music in these videos, you can appreciate Margaret’s talent and hard work that she contributes to our worship at St. John. Thanks for helping us make a “joyful noise unto the Lord,” Margaret!

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

And to my Orthodox friends: Christ is Born!

1 comment:

DebD said...

Joyous Feast! I think I originally found your blog via Fr. Stephen's blog (a comment by you over there perhaps?).

I love that Serbian Christmas carol and especially love the "rehearsal" one too. I shared it with many of my friends last year. Thanks for reminding me of it. I'll have to go check out the others.