Saturday, December 23


Happy Feast of Adam and Eve

The savlation of Adam (and Eve) was central to the theology, and the anti-Gnostic writings, of St. Irenaeus. The Church, accordingly, has set aside December 24 as the feast of Adam and Eve, as you can discover in the most recent edition of Roman Martyrology, if you read Latin.

This feast is precisely, in fact, the reason that we hang apples on Christmas trees and have Christmas cookies. Originally, the un-adorned tree was put up in preparation for the feast of Adam and Eve. Only apples, representing the food which brought mankind death, and waffers, representing the Food which brings mankind Life, would be hung on the tree during the day of the feast. During the day, plays recounting the story of the fall would be acted out before the tree.

Of course, come evening, the tree would be decorated for tomorrow morn.

The Feast of Adam and Eve is also the source of my own favorite Advent hymn. Here is the text--and, if I can recommend it, look up the tune on iTunes. It's worth it.

Remember, O Thou Man

1. Remember, O thou man,
O thou man, O thou man,
Remember O thou man,
Thy time is spent.

2. Remember, O thou man,
How thou art dead and gone,
And I did what I can:
Therefore repent!

3. Remember Adam's fall,
O thou man, O thou man!
Remember Adam's fall
From heaven to hell!

4. Remember Adam's fall,
How we were condemned all
To hell perpetual,
There for to dwell.

5. Remember God's goodness,
O thou man, O thou man!
Remember God's goodness,
And promise made!

6. Remember God's goodness,
How His only Son He sent
Our sins for to redress,
Be not afraid.

My roommate will tell you that this song is particularly poignant when played, repeatedly, the week of finals--Thy time is spent!

Any priest, by the way, who makes mention of the feast of Adam and Eve at Saturday morning mass tomorrow is hereby awesome latea sententiaea. But if any one actually sings this, the most appropriate hymn for the day (we sang it at a lessons and carols I attended a few weeks ago, actually), I will personally send them a recognition of their awesomeness, if you drop me a note.

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