Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Orthodox Thursday: Celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas

Welcome to my first post with the label "Orthodox Thursday." This isn't my first Eastern Orthodox book to review, but it definitely has been a few months. Today's book is entitled Celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas: A Family Devotional in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition by AmandaEve Wigglesworth. Conciliar Press sent me this book to review, and I meant to review it during the Christmas season, but it got lost in the shuffle of other books.

In this book, one will find a plethora of information and ideas. This provides you a few different ways to read the book and approach it with your family. You could start by simply reading and discussing the Liturgical aspect of each day with your family. Perhaps my favorite part of this book is that it contains the Troparion and Kontakion for each day. For those of you unfamiliar with these terms, they are the two most important hymns for the day in the Orthodox Church.

Another way you can teach your family (or Sunday School) from this book is by using the song The Twelve Days of Christmas and explaining the religious significance for each day. This is a clever catechesis method and lets your kids know about the real significance of what many people view as a silly secular song. Also included in this book are craft or recipe ideas for each day, such as a stained glass project or making a St. Basil cake.

This was a cute and useful book at the same time. Orthodox families would benefit from it greatly next Christmas if they are looking for some fresh ways to keep their children focused on Christmas for the whole season and not just think it ends on December 25. As a Catholic, this book was interesting to me to see how different the Eastern calendar is from the Western one and the two hymns for each day, mentioned above, deepened my appreciation of the Christmas Season.