Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas at Allaire Flickr photo set.

On Sunday afternoon, I took Timmy and Chris over to Wall for a couple of hours to tour the Historic Village at Allaire. The cold wind was strong so I'm glad I didn't plan to spend too much time outdoors. And it is mostly outdoors, even the Bakery didn't offer any indoor seating. You'd think you'd get some accommodation for your $2 cookie!

We sat about 30 minutes in the rear pew of the Allaire Chapel for a reenactment of a mid-1800's Christmas service. There were carols and hymns and a spirited version of the 12 Days of Christmas. Whenever my kids asked to leave, I reminded them of the strong, cold wind outside and isn't it nicer in here? They agreed but grudgingly.

The man who had the role of Episcopal minister reminded us how observance of Christmas was illegal in the US until just before the Civil War, even later in NJ. But Mr. Allaire gave his workers the day off and provided entertainment in the form of square dancing and some sort of feast. There was a man dressed as an Episcopal bishop seated up front, off to the side, with his miter and crozier. His observer status struck me as odd because I've never met a Catholic bishop who could refrain from running whatever show he's at.

Between the tickets and the cookies and the cotton candy, I was short on cash towards the end but the boys wanted to ride the Christmas train. There was a final departure at 4pm and only five tickets left for sale. I didn't have enough money for three but she gave them to us anyway. Santa rode the train with us but I couldn't get a picture because the boys had me holding the uneaten cookies and cotton candy, plus we were all in one seat because no one wanted to sit outside.

The train made three loops which was one loop too many for me. But, how often does a boy get to ride a real, 100-year old steam engine? Less and less often these days.


Matt said...

it used to be more common to have "mass in the presence of a bishop" in the traditional rite. They would also have it in the presence of the pope, a cardinal, and I beleive an abbot. All had their own rubrics too from what I understand.

Moonshadow said...

Well, I appreciate the comment and that is interesting. I can almost see it in the case of an abbot. :-)

But, seriously, and I don't want to make this sound as if I've met oodles o' bishops, I've never been at a service with them where they weren't, in same way, the main event. And I like it like that.