Prepare ye the way of the Lord (Advent names)

I’ve had “Prepare ye the way of the Lord” in my head the last few days, which is such a lovely Adventy thing to have in my head now that Advent has begun, and what better way for a name blogger to celebrate Advent than by making a list of Advent names!

At least, that was my intention — and not just Advent names, but *new* names, not the same names everybody has written about forever and ever for babies born this time of year — but I had a hard time coming up with anything new! So many of the names that could qualify as Advent names are also legitimately Christmas names, and I’ve written about Christmas names a few times already (see the end of the post for a list), so I didn’t want to rehash or repackage the same names over again. (Also, even though I didn’t package it that way my Nameberry article from last year is explicitly Adventy, since it refers to titles of the coming Messiah as noted by Isaiah in the context of the O Antiphons — it’s all prophecy and anticipation about Christmas.)

That said, I just have to say that I think there are some Christmas names that just *are* Advent names, and no Advent list would be complete without them, like Mary, Joseph, Emmanuel (is O Come O Come Emmanuel not one of the most Adventy of songs?), Gabriel, John and Baptist, Elizabeth, Zechariah, and Belén (the Spanish for Bethlehem) or even Bethlehem itself, so if you’re looking for an Advent name, don’t ignore the lists of Christmas names.

I was able to come up with a few new ideas though, and this site was incredibly helpful, as it explained a bunch of things about Advent that I actually didn’t already know, like how the first Sunday of Advent is set (it’s not actually the Sunday after Thanksgiving, as I might have mindlessly thought for a long time … I mean, it *is* the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but that’s not how it’s set of course, since most of the world doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving but they do celebrate Advent), and also what each of the candles means and represents. Based on those things, as well as some of my own ideas, here are some Advent names that you may not find on any list of Christmas names:

Andrew: Currently, the first Sunday of Advent is set on the first Sunday near the feast of St. Andrew (Nov. 30). Did you already know that? I didn’t! How cool!

Catherine: This is definitely a little bit of a stretch, but St. Catherine of Siena was known to be so joyful as a child that she was nicknamed Euphrosyne, which is Greek for “joy,” and between the “Rejoice” of Gaudete Sunday (the third Sunday of Advent, when we light the third [pink] candle) and the fact that the third candle is called the Candle of Joy, a Joy name is quite appropriate for Advent (it’s already on lists of Christmas names). You could certainly use Euphrosyne, but I thought Catherine might be a bit easier!

Isaiah: This Old Testament prophet foretold the coming of the Messiah and shared all those amazing titles of the Messiah as remembered in the O Antiphons (see my Nameberry article for more on those).

Lydia: Lydia in the New Testament was a seller of purple cloth — this could be a subtle connection to the three purple candles of the Advent wreath.

Old Testament ancestors of Jesus: I wrote about Jesus’ genealogy here and here — using one of His ancestors’ names is a neat way of nodding to the centuries of preparation for the first Christmas.

Rose: Of course Rose always refers to Our Lady, but it can also refer to the pink candle on the Advent wreath, lit on the third Sunday of Advent aka Gaudete Sunday (Gaudete=Rejoice).

And jumping out of alphabetical order, maybe the craziest+coolest idea: Rorate Caeli/Coeli. As explained by the Catholic Encyclopedia at New Advent:

(Vulgate, text), the opening words of Isaiah 45:8. The text is used frequently both at Mass and in the Divine Office during Advent, as it gives exquisite poetical expression to the longings of Patriarchs and Prophets, and symbolically of the Church, for the coming of the Messias. Throughout Advent it occurs daily as the versicle and response at Vespers. For this purpose the verse is divided into the versicle, “Rorate coeli desuper et nubes pluant justum” (Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just), and the response: “Aperiatur terra et germinet salvatorem” (Let the earth be opened and send forth a Saviour”). The text is also used: (a) as the Introit for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, for Wednesday in Ember Week, for the feastof the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin, and for votive Masses of the Blessed Virgin during Advent; (b) as a versicle in the first responsory of Tuesday in the first week of Advent; (c) as the first antiphon at Lauds for the Tuesday preceding Christmas and the second antiphon at Matins of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin; (d) in the second responsory for Friday of the third week of Advent and in the fifth responsory in Matins of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin.”

The nickname Rory could totally make Rorate as a first name doable! What do you think? Crazy? Cool? Both?

In a fun twist, Haley from Carrots for Michaelmas tweeted me (tweeted to me?) yesterday asking about my Advent names post, which was so weird since I was thinking about this as-yet unwritten one! But then I listened to her and Christy’s latest Fountains of Carrots podcast and realized they had mentioned it there, and I think they were referring to that same O Antiphons Nameberry article I’ve referred to several times here.

This is another post and article I wrote about Christmas names, which also contain good Advent ideas:

Holy Family Names for Christmastime Babies (Catholic Mom)

Names for a Christmas baby

And this post is the most comprehensive I’ve ever come across, containing both familiar and surprising ideas (not written by me): Christmas Baby Names

What do you think of these Advent names? Would you consider them for an Advent baby, or are they too un-obvious for your taste? I’d love to know what unexpected/new names you can add to the list!

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Sancta Nomina goes audial

So this posted today:

podcast_image-01.05.16

Hosted by these lovely ladies:

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Can you believe it? I barely can myself! So exciting! I’m sure you’ll have as much fun listening to Haley, Christy, and I chat about name as I had doing the actual chatting, and you’ll get to hear the name ideas I have for them if they’re blessed with more babies — be sure to let me know if you agree or disagree with my ideas, and what others you would offer based on the names they’ve already used for their kiddos!

Let’s Talk About Catholic Baby Names with Kate Towne

(When you click the link you’ll see there’s even a crazy pic of the paper I’d written my ideas for them on — that’s how I do consultations! Old school paper and pen, lots of arrows and doodling and notes in the margins. I will just say there’s an extra lot of doodling on this paper because I had it in front of me while I was talking to them, and if I have paper in front of me I.will.doodle.)

Merry Christmas!!

Are you all getting ready for this most holy of nights? As I write this (in the morning of today), we’ve got cleaning and baking and neverending coffee 🙂 and Christmas carols and candy canes and clean clothes for Mass and gift-preparing going on, from the oldest to the youngest. What a wonderful time!

Before I sign off for Christmas, I wanted to let you know two fun things:

— Yesterday Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas and Christy from Fountains of Home interviewed me for their Fountains of Carrots podcast. I know! It was an awesome hour of talking about some really fun things, all having to do with architecture. Ha! 😀 Of course it was names. It’s so fun to talk with people who love the names of our faith as I do. Just like all of you! I’ll let you know when it posts — probably sometime in January — and you can listen while you fold laundry or wash dishes or relax with a cup of coffee or whatever you do when you listen to a podcast!

— Remember the guest post from The Catholic Hipster (Tommy Tighe)? And how he’s working on a book called The Catholic Hipster Handbook, due out in Spring 2017 from Ave Maria Press? He asked me if I would be interested in contributing to it! I know! There’s no guarantee what I wrote will make it into the final book but … it might! It was a really fun piece to work on and I’m just still in a swoony awe that something I wrote might actually appear in a published book.

So those are my fun tidbits to wrap up Advent with! With that, I want to tell you all, again, how very blessed my life has been because of you all. Life is full of so much sadness and suffering, which we know Jesus uses to draw us closer to Him, but it’s also full of joy, all of which comes from Him. This blog and our name conversations have been part of the joy of my life for the past year — such good, wholesome, innocent, joyful fun. Thank you all, a million times! ❤

I’ll be off the blog from now until Monday January 4, with the exception of the Monday consultation, which I’ll post as usual on December 28 and moderate the comments as needed.

And now — off to prepare for our Little Lord! Fall on your knees! O Night Divine! O Holy Night! A merry merry and very blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones!

Jean-Baptiste_Marie_Pierre_-_Nativity_-_WGA17676

Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons