The Catholic Community here on Post has no Advent music, other than the two Advent hymns in the military hymnals in the chapel pews.
My religious tradition has a rich history of music for Advent -- and Christmas, for that matter. But we have no Advent music here. And not many of the Christmas hymns I was looking forward to singing.
Our predecessors in this place had Advent music for their Catholic Soldiers. And Christmas music, too.
They received a bill, dated 21JUL09, for the Advent and Christmas music *for us*, but they did not pay it. Nor did they pay the "Second Notice" which came some time later.
The original bill was received more than 120 days out from the start of Advent.
When I was handed that bill on or about 07NOV09, I was told, "Don't worry about it; you have The Word Among Us (a wonderful, free-to-deployed-military-personnel publication which has the daily Mass readings for people in the pews). But you will probably need to get this bill from Oregon Catholic Press paid at some point."
AT SOME POINT?
It was 07NOV09, and Advent was set to begin the evening of 28NOV09 -- twenty-one days hence! Our predecessors had had that bill for at least 100 days at that point.
Who in his or her right mind would believe that a three-month-old bill for time-sensitive materials would be able to be paid in a timely fashion during or immediately after an Army "Transfer of Authority"?
The bill from Oregon Catholic Press (for the "Missalette" and "Music Issue 2010") was finally authorized to be paid by the Brigade I'm with, Friday 04DEC09 -- after Advent had already begun, and twenty-one days before Christmas.
The Word Among Us, though wonderful and greatly appreciated, HAS NO MUSIC IN IT. "Music Issue 2009" -- which our predecessors left us -- has lots of music, BUT NO MUSIC FOR ADVENT OR CHRISTMAS.
This means, with my luck, we *might* get our Advent (and Christmas) music by February, 2010.
I'm working very hard to disabuse myself of the notion that this was deliberate.
"God grant those people every good gift I could wish for myself or those I love most."
Blessings and peace to one and all,
Fr. Tim, SJ