Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Twelfth Night Celebration at the Stauffers

Russian Krendl bread
To celebrate the Twelfth (and last) Day of Christmas, our house church congregation observed an Orthodox ceremony this past Sunday I had read about that's associated with Twelfth Night (which marks the end of the Christmas season). In this little liturgy each congregant receives a piece of freshly baked Krendl bread with the words, "Jesus is born!". The participant then responds with "Let us adore him!", dips the bread in honey (lightly flavored with salt) and savors it as a form of Eucharist.

Traditionally, Twelfth Night has been a night of merry making, as in Shakespeare's play by that name. While we Mennonites are not known to be great at making merry, we did our best in belting out our favorite Christmas carols. Then after our prayers and Bible study, we enjoyed our weekly carry-in fellowship meal, always a part of our simple experience of church.

I told our little church that the Krendl was my personal Christmas present to each of them. With my good wife's indulgent permission, I braved using a recipe for for something I had never tried before. I must say I felt blessed going through the rather involved steps it called for as a kind of labor of love, an act of prayer.

Until next year, a Merry, Merry Christmas!

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