Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent Longing

Oh joy!! We get almost a full four weeks of Advent (minus one day). This does not happen often. . .and I usually am bemoaning the shortness of this wonderful liturgical season. Historically, Advent was originally held to be a penitential period, one with an emphasis on our sinfulness mitigated by our fasting. Neither of those aspects is a focus anymore -- at least, not in the church-at-large.

In our Gathering Place we have a huge wreath on the center table, instantly capturing the eye as one enters the place. Our practice on Sundays before Mass is to gather round the wreath as the candles are lit—sometimes by a child or some other guest of the monastery. There is a joyous atmosphere overall, and we process into chapel with light heart and step.

I particularly like the Advent hymns and antiphons. They are infused with such longing for Christ’s coming and there is a sense of expectancy which overcomes any dreariness of disposition, weather or fears, physical and spiritual. Christ our Light is coming!
photo: Joaquim lights the candle for the First Sunday of Advent on November 28, 2010

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you regarding the hymns and antiphons. They remind me of the joy of Christ in my life, lighting the way and expelling the darkness! Thanks be to God.