Sunday, December 09, 2012

Second Sunday in Advent

Hail Dawn-Herald!
      Brightest of the Angels!
Over the middle-earth
      Sent unto men
Most righteous gleam 
       Of the bounteous sun
Radiant beyond the stars above.

(Cynewulf from "The Advent Lyrics")

"What is 'Hanukah? The rabbis taught: "On the twenty-fifth day of Kislev 'Hanukah commences and lasts eight days, on which lamenting (in commemoration of the dead) and fasting are prohibited. When the Hellenists entered the sanctuary, they defiled all the oil that was found there. When the government of the House of Asmoneans prevailed and conquered them, oil was sought (to feed the holy lamp in the sanctuary) and only one vial was found with the seal of the high priest intact. The vial contained sufficient oil for one day only, but a miracle occurred, and it fed the holy lamp eight days in succession. These eight days were the following year established as days of good cheer, on which psalms of praise and acknowledgment (of God's wonders) were to be recited."

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