Last evening was the first of our Advent Wednesday Evening series, starting with a beautifully sung Evensong (as soon as I heard Matt & Claire singing like larks I decided to forgo my croak), including a beautiful Advent hymn I didn't even know was in our Hymnal (1940): #6, Conditor Alme
, 1st tune. It appears in Latin on my favorite Christmas album, "A Medieval Christmas" by the Boston Camerata (recorded sometime back in the 60s or 70s -- my ~70s LP wore out years ago but not ago I found it on CD.)
Then, per tradition, it was down to the Parish Hall for a "light" supper. Light enough, I guess, but hardly plain. Nancy worked her "usual" magic with the soup and salad (hard to call such delicious fare "usual"), and I don't know who was responsible for the place settings, but it was great.
Then we went on to discussions centered on this season's readings, Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from G.K. Chesterton (skipping over Fr. McGrath's clever Irish/Seattle jest), focusing on two of the daily Advent readings preceding yesterday. Day 1: "The Gift of Hope" -- if only I had had signed up and had a copy of the book beforehand, I could have contributed to this.
Hope is, as Chesterton (and some in the group) noted, is not for the young. It requires experience; experience of dreams or expectations dashed to the ground only to have something new, maybe something unexpected, and maybe something even better, rise to take their place. That it "is from the backs of the elderly gentlemen that the wings of the butterfly should burst" is spot on.
It is also only the elderly caterpillar that sprouts the wings -- the statement I would have made if...
1: I hadn't been so tired and
2: I had been able to read the reading beforehand.
Hope doesn't belong completely to older folks, and older folks don't always have hope, but I suspect hope (as differentieated from anticipation) is best to be found amongst the older set.