Laudetur Jesus Christus!
Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Today we enter into the Advent Season, the beginning of the Church’s Liturgical Year. As we enter into Advent, a period of expectant waiting for the coming of the Savior,it is a strong temptation for us to celebrate Christmas before Christmas. So often, when Christmas finally does arrive we are left with an empty feeling, because we had been celebrating Christmas for weeks prior. We then tend to ignore and miss the importance of the feast for which we had been preparing. As we enter into this period, may we do our best to leave and pre- pare a place within our hearts for the coming of the King. Christ no longer walks this earth as he once did, but his Incarnational presence remains here among us in the Holy Eucharist. The reception of Holy Communion is a call for us to continue the work of Christ in this world. May this Advent Season serve as a period of rest and reflection on how we are to continue being the hands and the feet of Christ in this world trans- formed by His Incarnation.
One change to please note, the Advent wreath has been re-done this year. We are returning to the more traditional German tradition of using red candles, rather than the purple/rose candles. If you look up images of Pope Benedict and his Advent wreath, you will discover this practice. The red serves to remind us of the purpose for Christ’s coming into the world, the redemption of mankind through the cross. Thus serving as a way to connect Christmas and Easter.
Finally, please see this note from Br. Brent regarding music during Advent: As we enter the season of Advent, a time of penance and preparation, the organ will once again go “silent.” This means, in accord with the Church’s mandates, the organ will only be used to accompany singing. There will be no preludes, postludes, or improvisations during any of the Masses. The extra silence is a good opportunity for extra prayer.
In addition, the organ will have a much more subdued sound throughout the season. This doesn’t mean you should sing softer! You may just have to listen harder to not drag behind the organ’s speed. Part of congregational singing is that we all must sing together and at the same time – individuals shouldn’t be heard above anyone else – the entire congregation should sound as one body with the organ leading.
Have a blessed week ahead and a fruitful Advent Season!