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Merry Antepenultimate Christmas!

December 23, 2017



When a word is correctly pronounced with the accent on its final syllable, that syllable is the ultimate one in the word. Which simply means it is the last syllable.

When the emphasis is on the next-to-the-last one, said syllable is called the penultimate. That is, it comes just before the ultimate.

And —hang on, we’re almost there— when the third syllable from the end of the word is properly sounded louder than the final two syllables, that one is known as the antepenultimate.


Since Christmas is December 25th, and Christmas Eve is December 24th, today being December 23rd means that you and I are awash in what some might quite properly call the Antepenultimate Christmas day.

Admittedly, that’s a fact which will probably come in handy only when you’re sitting next to your family member who’s the world’s foremost grammarian.

But every family does seem to have one, right?

And So

To rip a Scripture completely out of context, Get ready; be prepared, you and all who are gathered about you. (Ezekiel 38:7) This is a busy weekend for a lotta people. But the day on which followers of Christ officially celebrate that Holy Birth is still two days away.

Maybe your church is having a special service tomorrow morning, which is officially The Fourth Sunday of Advent. Advent is itself a time to, well, as Ezekiel 38:7 just reminded us, Get ready; be prepared, you and all who are gathered about you. Tomorrow being the day before Christmas, it’s obviously not yet Christmas.

And maybe your church is having a Christmas Eve service tomorrow. I’m humbled and honored to serve Holy Communion at what I understand to be the family and kid oriented worship time at 4pm at our church. Maybe we’ll see each other there. Get ready; be prepared, you and all who are gathered about you.


Merry Antepenultimate Christmas!

(…okay, so that might not be real catchy, but hey….)



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