Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reason For This Season

So, what will your Advent be like this year?

His Excellency, the Most Reverend John C. Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City, offers his thoughts as the season gets under way. His pastoral letter to the faithful of the diocese, "Waiting In Joyful Hope!", provides a reflection on how we should prepare for the next four weeks. (Link is PDF formatted letter.)

His opening paragraphs set the tone:
Few would disagree that we live in a busy and rushed society. We rush from one thing to the next; in the end, many of us are restless and tired, yearning for stability and peace in our community and family. You may have noticed that in our hurried society many stores have already decorated for Christmas, radio stations are sneaking in a Christmas song here and there, and even some of our own parishes have begun preparing for Christmas parties for early December. In the midst of all this hurry, the Church teaches us to slow down, to be patient, and to wait.

What is the rush? Are we really so eager to get to all the decorations up, celebrate the event, and quickly dismantle all the decorations so we can move on to the next event? If we truly believe the Church is the sacrament of Christ in the world (Editor's Note--Reference is made here to Lumen Gentium, sections 1, 9, and 48), then we must authentically celebrate the story of salvation as it unfolds in the liturgical year so that we can witness God's profound love and mercy to the world....
While Advent comes once a year, Christ continues His advent into the world.

We prepare to meet Him again and always.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Veni, Veni

Nightfall comes.

But tonight's sunset is important to the Christian community.

It is the Sunday vigil nearest the feast of St. Andrew.

Thus begins Advent and the start of a new liturgical year, featuring the Gospel of St. Matthew.

With Christmas Day falling on a Saturday this year, we have the second longest season the calendar can afford.

27 days of watching, waiting, preparing, praying.

Like the Blessed Virgin Mary, the days of our confinement are almost complete.

We celebrate His first coming into the world as one like us, save for sin.

We anticipate His second coming into the world to return us to the Father.

We long for Emmanuel.

In four weeks time, as well as the blink of an eye, He will be here.

Be ready.

Become ready.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Day Thought

In the dialogue between priest and congregation before the Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer there is an acknowledgment of the rightness and justice of giving thanks to God. Then the priest continues with that affirmation:
Father, all powerful and ever-living God,
We do well always and everywhere to give you thanks
(Through Jesus Christ our Lord).
While we should have this mindset every day, it is the fourth Thursday in November, a secular holiday, that brings to the forefront our reliance on our Creator for all we have, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

It is a time to pause and reflect upon His many blessings which are graciously bestowed on us. It is a time to marvel in wonder and awe upon His majesty. It is a time to truly lift our minds and hearts in grateful praise for all we have received.

It is a time to give thanks.

Take a moment during your celebration of this holiday to show your appreciation to God.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Make We Music

With today being the feast day of St. Cecilia, I present a litany used by various members of the Church Music Association of America, using it as a novena every month (beginning on the 22nd.), saluting her martyrdom and asking her intercession "for liturgical music that is beautiful, holy, and universal."


Litany of St. Cecilia

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, wise virgin, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, whose heart burned with the fire of Divine love, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, apostle by thy zeal and charity, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, who converted thy spouse and procured for him the crown of Martyrdom, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, who by thy pleadings moved the hearts of pagans, and brought them into the true Church, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, who didst unceasingly see thy guardian Angel by thy side, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, who didst mingle thy voice with the celestial harmonies of the virgins, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, who by thy melodious accents celebrated the praises of Jesus, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, illustrious Martyr of Jesus Christ, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, who during three days dist suffer most excruciating torments, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, consolation of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, protectress of all who invoke thee, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, patroness of holy canticles, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, special patroness and advocate of all singers, musicians, authors, and students, Pray for us.

We salute thee, O Virgin, who didst give thy blood for the defense and faith of Jesus Christ.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

God glorified Saint Cecilia,
And He crowned her virtues.

Let us pray: O Eternal God, Who didst give us, in the person of Saint Cecilia, a powerful protectress, grant that after having faithfully passed our days, like herself, in innocence and holiness, we may one day attain the land of beatitude, where in concert with her, we may praise Thee and bless Thee forevermore in eternity. Amen.


My other posts for the day:

Musical Quotes And Thoughts (2005).

Quotes About Notes (2006).

Quotable On Notes (2007).

Canto; Ergo Sum (2008).

Mechanical Musicianship (2009).