28 December, 2010

The 3rd Day of Christmas

The Celtic Tradition
& Symbolism

The intertwining of Celtic and Christian traditions runs deep in the Anglican Church. The solstice and the birth of our Lord Jesus is enrobed in the refrain of the old Carol "The Holy and the Ivy." With the rising of the first sun of Winter, the Jesus' birth is recalled, a new beginning for us all. The running of the deer, killing the first stag of the year recalls the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, to save us all. It is much like the old Jewish tradition of sacrificing an unblemished lamb at Passover. The intense imagery of a life given,again, to save us all in manifest in flesh. So it is with the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus, the Son of God made man and crucified to save mankind.

Both the Holy and the Ivy retain their green leaves through the winter, symbols of God's undying, and enduring love for his creation. The Holly with its pure white blossom, bitter bark, red berry and sharp thorn recall the whole life of Christ, his pure and virgin birth, the bitter wine of suffering, his blood shed to cleanse us and the pain of crucifixion, pierced by nails

The Anglican liturgical traditions are rich in symbolism. The Celtic flavor is a joyful fleshing out God's love for us.

Merry 3rd Day of Christmas!

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