November 27th, 2005

advent1

Week 47: Rituals

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Talk about some kind of, for lack of a better word, ritual that you regularly carry out and why. It could be something you do once a year, once a month, once a week or once a day. It might be something you do just for yourself or for other people. Examples could be meeting up with your bookclub every month or going to a special place once a week, going out with a special friend once every couple of months, something you do every weekend to unwind from work.So pick one or many, and tell us why these moments in your life are important to you.

Rituals for me are always about a particular event or a season, and they’re rooted in family tradition. So, since today is the first Sunday of Advent, my rituals all have a preparatory / Christmas flavour!

My family always had an advent wreath which we’d decorate on the first sunday of advent. It had 4 red candles, a large white candle in the middle and we decorated it with holly and ivy. My advent wreath this year (or “Adventskranz” auf Deutsch!) is based on a natural piece of wood. It doesn’t have a central candle for Christmas day, but I like the simplicity of it. As I light a candle each Sunday it gives me a chance to focus on the forthcoming season. I may buy some greenery and decorate it as Christmas draws nearer!

The beginning of Advent reminds me that I should have already made my Christmas cake and Christmas pudding! I had planned to do this last weekend (on Stir-up Sunday ) but I was ill. Stir-up Sunday is the Sunday before Advent, and the collect (prayer for the week) begins “Stir up we beseech thee o Lord” and reminds the congregation that they should make their Christmas pudding!

Today I did the first phase of the Christmas cake, the pre-soaking! I’m making Delia Smith’s Irish Whiskey Christmas cake and the flat now smells wonderful. I will be finishing the cake this Tuesday, when I will also make the Christmas pudding. More Christmas cake photos here

As I was cooking, I realised that I have a cooking ritual, which is sorting out my spice cupboard! My herbs and spices have to be arranged alphabetically (in english). So if I have a German spice, it’s filed under the english name ie Kurkuma is filed under T for turmeric!

A new ritual for Advent this year, is the Advent 2005 Release Challenge, which was an idea of katcolorado's!
1 Christmas Tree, 24 books, 24 days!