Sunday, November 28, 2010

Veni, Veni Emmanuel

Today we began the beautiful season of Advent. We will use the next 4 weeks to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ.

I have an Advent calendar to share with Reece. We will prepare for Christmas slowly, first putting out the Advent wreath and candles, then the nativity set, to which we will add the pieces a few at a time. The tree will go up with only lights until Gaudete Sunday, when we will put on all of the ornaments. I'm looking forward to thinking of other ways to celebrate Advent with him.

To get a better idea of what Advent means to Catholics, please read the excerpt below.

From the Roman Missal, 1962:

The liturgical texts used during the four weeks of the season of Advent remind the faithful of the "absence of Christ." The Collects of Advent do not end with "through our Lord Jesus Christ," as during the rest of the year. In a spirit of penance and prayer we await the Mediator, the God-Man, preparing for His coming in the flesh, and also for His second coming as our Judge. The Masses for Advent strike a note of preparation and repentance mingled with joy and hope; hence, although the penitential purple is worn and the Gloria is omitted, the joyous Alleluia is retained. The readings from the Old Testament contained in the Introit, Gradual, Offertory, and Communion of the Masses, taken mostly from the prophecies of Isaias and from the Psalms, give eloquent expression to the longing of all nations for a Redeemer. We are impressed by repeated and urgent appeals to the Messias: "Come, delay no longer." The Lessons from St. Paul urge us to dispose ourselves fittingly for His coming. The Gospels describe the terrors of the Last Judgment, the Second Coming, and tell of the preaching of St. John the Baptist "to prepare the way of the Lord."

In Advent, the Greek Church celebrates particularly the ancestors of Our Lord--all the Patriarchs and Prophets of the Old Testament, but especially Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Latin Church also mentions them often in this period. In the Breviary, many texts are taken from Isaias (Introit of the second Sunday, Communion of the third Sunday).

The idea of Advent is "Prepare you for the coming of Christ." Therefore the very appeals of the Patriarchs and Prophets are put in our mouths in Advent. Prepare for the coming of Christ the Redeemer, who comes to prepare us for His Second Coming as Judge.

When the oracles of the Prophets were fulfilled and the Jews awaited the Messias, John the Baptist left the desert and came to the vicinity of the Jordan, bringing a baptism of penance to prepare souls for the coming of Christ. The world took him to be the Messias, but he replied with the words of Isaias: "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: prepare ye the way of the Lord."

During Advent we make straight for Christ the way to the our souls--and behold, our Lord will come at Christmas.


Kelly said...

I took out my little advent candle holder - the one with Mary, Joesph and baby Jesus. Not sure if you remember it so I'll take a picture to show you later. We got it at Goodwill back in the Spring!

Thanks for posting the explanation of Advent - I was just looking it up on the internet and then said, "Hang on! Mom will have some news posted about it, I bet!" And sure enough, you did.

Love you!

Kalona said...

I sort of remember you getting the candle holder, Kel, but don't remember what it looks like. I'm glad you're celebrating Advent and were able to find some info on my blog. :o) Love you, too!

Angela M. said...

Your patron saint for this year is Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist - hoping you might post on her during this month!

Kalona said...

Hi Angela, thank you for choosing my patron saint again this year! I had seen that it was Elizabeth, on your blog, and I apologize for not acknowledging it then. I'll certainly be posting about her this month! Also, thank you so much for doing the patron saint draw each year. I know it is a lot of work, and you are getting more and more requests. Hugs!!