Christmas

Oh my! The tears still flow, tears of joy tinged with sadness, as I prepare for yet another broadcast of "The Carols of Alfred Burt: A Legacy of Love." I first produced this program in 1997, prompted by my good friend Bill Ginn, who had been familiar with the 15 contemporary carols by Alfred Burt for a number of years. Bill had arranged several of these precious carols for both brass and woodwind quintets that I played with. "Tell me more about this music," I asked of Bill.

The winter holidays are a time of abundance, but for Christians in the Middle East, the official start of the Christmas season is marked by a decidedly rustic dish: porridge.

Archbishop Swerios Murad of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem says his congregation will eat boiled wheat kernels this week to mark the Feast of St. Barbara, or Eid el-Burbara in Arabic.

"It's a simple porridge," Murad tells The Salt, "but it's very important that it be sweet."

Hans Grim

This has to be one of San Antonio’s most distinctive holiday events. It’s one where people come from far and wide to blow their horn. Literally. And you can hear the difference from the very first notes.

[music]

“I think most of us who play the tuba enjoy what we do and are perfectly happy playing a supportive role most of the time.”

Meet Ray Grim, with the Tubameisters. Once a year, Tuba and Euphonium players converge and take over the stage.

“It’s become a community event. We actually have people come in from out of town to attend the concert.”

Ryan E. Poppe

A Catholic-supported group has been able to raise enough private funds to have a Nativity scene on display inside the Texas State Capitol, the week before Christmas. And the Texas Nativity Scene Project, the group that put this together, said the presence of the manger scene in the Capitol building is a win for those trying to keep the “Christ in Christmas.”

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