Saturday, January 10, 2009
From the Catholic parish of St. Albert the Great, Austin:
Join us for the only medieval celebration of the Christmas season and New Year in Austin.
This delightful theatrical presentation takes you to a castle of Olde England, a lavish royal party, the arrival of the Yule Log, caroling, and the Boar’s Head celebration – the conquest of the ferocious wild boar.
Bring your family and friends to enjoy this fabulous musical production, featuring a magnificent orchestra professional performers, traditional songs, elaborate period costumes and the arrival of the Magi.
Live Music • Singing • Dance
Reserved Seats and Royal Reception $10
General Admission - Free
The Boar’s Head Legend
In medieval times wild boars roamed the pagan English countryside terrorizing villagers and dominating the forests. Around these times, the Christian missionaries arrived in England and found an annual festival held in the darkest days of winter, celebrating man’s triumph over nature, symbolized in the slaying of the fierce wild boar. Wealthy families hosted these festivals with great feasts, musical performances and jolly amusements. These popular festivals conflicted with the celebration of the Christmas holiday and the Epiphany. The missionaries solved this dilemma by using the boar as a symbol of evil in the world and the feast as a celebration of Christ’s birth, love and goodness. The Boar’s Head celebration’s new meaning took hold and became a tradition in Christian England.
The origins of the Yule Log can be traced back to the winter Solstice festival in which the Norsemen celebrated around bonfires and indulged in feasting and drinking “Yule” beer, (the sacrificial beer of “Jol” or “Jule” a Nordic god). In England, the custom was that on Christmas Eve an enormous log of freshly cut wood called the Yule Log would be dragged home by oxen or horses with great ceremony as the family members walked alongside and sang merry songs. On Christmas Eve, the master of the house would place it in the hearth, and sprinkle the trunk with oil, salt and mulled wine and say suitable prayers. In some families, the young girls of the house lit the log with a splinter from the preceding year’s log which they had carefully tucked away. The Boar’s Head Pageant is now presented in a handful of churches through the country. It has become a theatrical symbol of the triumph of the ultimate Good, the Christ Child, over evil. The pageant is not simply a folk story of the past. It is a living story, enacted by modern Christian performers to remind us of the true meaning of the Christmas season.
St. Albert the Great parish offers this sixth annual celebration as our gift to the Austin community in praise of our Creator for the gift of His Son and salvation. May the meaning of Christmas remain in your hearts throughout the year.
Our parish thanks the hundreds of volunteers who gave of their time and treasure to bring you this performance.