Sunday, January 03, 2016
Any Mummers in the Night?
This morning I will speak about the Christmas season, which is twelve days in duration, not just a splash on Christmas Eve. This year we actually have two Sundays during those twelve days, so this gives me the opportunity to address what Christmas means beyond the strange mixture of nostalgia and buying frenzy.
I will mention the Newfoundland tradition of mummering, an odd and cheerful excuse for revelry and drinking which has its roots in Ireland. Mummering still had some energy in the outports I served 35 years ago. Folk would dress up, go door-to-door, hoping to confound neighbours who knew their voices and quirks. This 500-year-old practice has almost disappeared in the province, as it has in its country of origin, but apparently it is being revived with an annual Mummering Festival in St. John's.
I wish that we could revive the Christian season of Christmas, as an antidote to the commercialism and secularization of what really is a wondrous celebration of the Incarnation. There is always hope!