The Chieftains, Christmas and Community

Our friend the iMonk has mentioned his affinity for the Chieftains. I must say that the Bells of Dublin may just be my favorite album of the season. I think the appeal of the record, aside from its Irish charm, is the communal nature of it. Yes, I know the record was recorded in a studio, and not at a Christmas party. Yet there is an obvious sense of authenticity in the many voices joining together in “Deck the Halls,” cheerfully and almost irreverently. It’s a thrill.

I do wonder; where did we lose this sense of community? It has historically been a part of American culture. (Think of the Christmas scene in Cold Mountain) I imagine that we have lost this idea as we have lost a certain agragarian quality of American life. We no longer value community in the sense that we once did, many years ago. We no longer value the arts, so it is rare to even join around a piano for a Christmas carol or hymn. I imagine that sounds overly romantic, but our Rockwellian images come from somewhere. Our history tells us a story, but it seems as though that story has ceased.

This Advent, as we celebrate and anticipate the birth of our Lord, let us join with family, friends and neighbors. Let us truly share the season in hopes that through the celebration of our Savior, we draw our communities back together.


~ by Michael on November 30, 2005.

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