Juno

Saw Juno tonight. The short version: all the reviews are true – it’s a great movie. Best I’ve seen in many months. Well written and superbly acted, it is most certainly worthy of your monetary support. But Juno also has something that is truly rare in movies – a pop soundtrack that is simply delightful. I’m not even talking about soundtracks like Garden State or Last Kiss which seem to be trying so hard to be great. Juno‘s music was flawless. Perhaps it was the atmosphere of the movie itself – self-aware and confident, sweet but not treacley – that seemed to permeate the music; maybe it was the music that permeated the movie. Not knowing which is which is a sure sign that the whole movie experience will be more than satisfying. Anyway, it takes a lot for me, champion of the orchestral score, to give credit to a pop soundtrack but once in a great while even I can be pleasantly surprised.

As a side note, I am mildly concerned that I described a movie as self-aware. I think I need to reexamine my diet.

Rachel Weeping for Her Children

Today marks the remembrance of the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem, the children killed by order of King Herod when he learned of the birth of Christ. The Church has historically considered these children to be the first martyrs; they died not only for Christ, but in his stead (St. Augustine). Remembering the slaughter of these infants at Christmastime shocks our modern sensibilities. Christmas is suppose to be happy happy happy! And yet, the wisdom of our fathers in the faith bids us not to forget that evil still encroaches upon joy, Satan is active. However, as my friend Zach notes, despite Herod’s efforts, that Gospel was not — and will not be — destroyed.

The Collect:
We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

December 27th is the feast of the beloved disciple, John.

John enjoyed a special relationship with Christ and was the only apostle to remain near the cross when Jesus was killed. It was there that Jesus entrusted John with the care of Mary, his mother. Tradition holds that John was the only one of the Twelve who did not die a martyr; instead, he lived out his life in exile on the island of Patmos.

Here is the collect for his feast:
Shed upon thy Church, we beseech thee, O Lord, the brightness of thy light; that we, being illumined by the teaching of thine apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of thy truth, that we may at length attain to the fullness of life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Merry Christmas

“He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk and blind men see.”

-Bob Crachit on his son, Tim
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens