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Saturday, 26 November 2011

Enriching Your Advent

Himself has been attending a suburban church within walking distance of the theater where he is working, and came home last week almost laughing that despite the unwontedly appropriate hymns, (Christ the King is a pretty difficult holy day to mess up...) Mass was like a funeral, the priest spoke and acted as if he were in mourning at the coming new translation.

Most of the parishioners, he hastened to add, seemed utterly unconcerned...
I say, not for the first time, that most problems in the pew will be the heads of obstructionists and whiners in the sanctuary.

I shall have a very different experience of the First Sunday of Advent, 2012, I'm going to a bit of trouble to attend the first Mass in the new translation to be celebrated at the American flagship parish for the Rof theR.

The great Msgr. Wadsworth has this to say:
Advent is a time for new beginnings. It is the start of the Church’s liturgical year, and this Advent also marks the implementation of a new English translation of the Roman Missal throughout the world. Exactly 38 years ago, the first-ever edition of the Roman Missal, entirely in English, rolled off the printing presses and on to the altars of the English-speaking Catholic world. Its advent signalled the resolution of almost 10 years of flux, during which the liturgy of the Mass had made a transition from a Latin text established by the universal practice of centuries to vernacular translations of a newly assembled missal prepared by scholars following the Second Vatican Council.

The missal contains a wealth of liturgical treasures with many orations dating from the first millennium, together with prayers of more recent composition. The texts of the Advent season are particularly rich and are predominantly taken from ancient sources. A striking theme which emerges in the first days of Advent sets the tone for the whole season. It is the notion that we are hastening to meet Christ. The liturgy makes frequent reference to the three comings of Christ: first, in time, in the Incarnation which we recall during the Advent/Christmas cycle; secondly, at his Second Coming and for each person at the moment of their death; and thirdly, for us all continually by his grace.

The collect which begins Advent expresses this well:

Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming,
so that, gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom.
– Collect of the First Sunday of Advent

(Go read the rest, get your Advent off to a good start)

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