There's a Kind of Hush 

 by Patti Pateros

As I write this, it is December 22. One would think that Christmas carols would be running through my head. But instead, it is the lyrics of a 1967 Herman's Hermits song that come to mind . . . "there's a kind of hush all over the world tonight." That describes the atmosphere around here this week. Of course there are the usual and constant background noises - the vacuum cleaner and the copy machine as it churns out the 1,000+ Christmas bulletins. But the telephones are quiet, the preschool is on break, classes and meetings have been cancelled, even traffic to and from work is light. There is, indeed, a kind of hush all over the world. 

People assume that the week before Christmas is total chaos at the church. In fact, if we aren't ready by now, we're in trouble! Of course there is the last minute flurry of activity: the Flower Ministry decorating the church, the Altar Ministry setting the table, the Pageant cast practicing their lines, the choir and musicians rehearsing their carols. But all of this has been thoughtfully and carefully planned so there are no last minute surprises (although the copy machine did just break down). Then we approach the New Year with shortened work days and a lighter work load . . . the biggest task is getting this newsletter finished. 

But much like the hush of the summer, we know this peace and quiet is short-lived and ends with a bang. Sunday, January 8. The Baptism of Our Lord. Six children to be baptized. Big reception in the Great Hall. Sunday, January 29. The Annual Parish Meeting. Gathering and writing annual reports. Finalizing the budget. Getting new vestry members on board. And, believe it or not, six weeks from now, Lent begins. Prep for Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Ash Wednesday, Lenten Adult Ed, Holy Week . . . and on and on it goes. 

In the meantime, let us enjoy this hush that seems to be all over the world . . . or peace on earth, as the angels call it.  It gives us time to renew, reconnect, relax and remember before we reluctantly revert to our regular routines. And as I personally reflect on all that has taken place at Holy Comforter in 2011, lyrics from a different song enter my mind. It's the final song from my all-time favorite Christmas movie, Holiday Inn: ". . . so let the old year die with a fond goodbye." May this be a happy New Year for us all.