Ananda Family News

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Christmas Collection

This past week was a veritable marathon of Christmas joy. We started on Saturday with our annual all-day meditation, and it seemed especially sweet to have it land so close to Christmas Day itself this year. Those eight hours are a beautiful chance to become more deeply aware of the feeling of Christmastime, and trace it inward and upward back to Jesus and to God.

The Christmas Eve service is always particularly special as well. There’s a feeling of an alternate reality to it: coming to church at night instead of the morning, and having many of the usual elements of a service rearranged with new music — not to mention being visited by angels, wise men, and baby Jesus himself with his family. The feeling of being in a completely different space brings everyone’s attention to a clearer, more present focus, and intensifies the whole experience. (I will take an aside here to put on my East West hat and mention that if you’ve never spent 7 hours in retail on Dec 24th and then gone straight to Christmas Eve service, then you haven’t truly experienced the nature of duality. But even so, the evening’s vibrations were so powerful that I hardly noticed falling off that particular cliff.)

Christmas Day featured an expanded dramatization of the Christmas story, complete with dual-sized kings and angels, and narrated by Rabbi Asha in full storytelling mode. The blessings at the end of the story/service came in two varieties as well: the touch of light and the touch of glitter, administered by the taller and shorter angels, respectively.

The Christmas banquet entertainment managed to fill a glaring hole in the previous week’s caroling. I refer, of course, to The Twelve Days of Christmas, which were dutifully and enthusiastically enacted by assigned tables of piping pipers, golden rings, and apparently a whole family of partridges in a pear tree.

Our Temple of All Religions also got to spend a few minutes being a temple of all (or at least more) languages. We sang Silent Night with four extra renditions — German, Italian, French, and Spanish — with anyone who was willing to take a shot at it welcomed up to join the performers on the language of their choice. (Anybody want to translate this into a few more languages for next year? Sanskrit, perhaps?)

Enjoy the rest of the photos, and may you carry the Christmas bliss with you into the new year!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My heart opens in sweet ways just looking at the spirit that
the photos reflect.Even though I rarely come to Ananda since I moved, the love I received over the years continues to remain with me.

Blessings to you all for this New Year - and the miracle of peace for everyone.

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