1. ADVENT

No. 904         Diocese of Marbel, Philippines                       25 November 2016

November 27, 2016 is the First Sunday of Advent.

Advent, Latin, “adventus”, coming.  Coming of Jesus Christ.  First, when he was born in Bethlehem.  Second, when he will come again to judge the living and the dead (cf. Creed).

(i) Advent Wreath

From the German Lutherans, early 1500s.  Circular, made from fresh plants.  Circle has no beginning and no end.  It means eternity.  We participate in the eternity of God’s plan of salvation; and we hope to share eternal life in God’s Kingdom.

Fresh plant material Christ came to give us new life through his passion, death, and resurrection.

Three purple candles and one pink or rose.  Purple symbolizes penance, reparation, sacrifice, good works.  Good preparations for Christmas.  Pink/rose or white, symbolizes joy.  This candle is lighted on the 3rd Sunday of Advent called “Gaudete” Sunday.  We rejoice because soon it will be Christmas.

Light.  Jesus is the light that dispels darkness (cf. Jh. 1: 4-5).  Jesus calls himself the light of the world “Lux Mundi” (Jh. 8: 12; 9: 5).  Jesus is a “revealing light” – we never see ourselves until we see ourselves through the eyes of Jesus (Barclay, Gospel of John, rev.ed., p. 46).  Jesus is also “a guiding light…without Jesus we are like men groping on an unknown road on a black-out. With him the way is clear.” (Barclay, ibid).

“Progression of lighting candles shows our readiness to meet our Lord” (William Saunders, “Liturgical Season of Advent, Arlington Catholic Herald in Catholic Education Resource Center, (catholiceducation.org/en/culture)…. Most of the ideas came from Fr. Saunders).

(ii) Blessing of Advent Wreath

Please refer to the “CollectioRituum” published by the Manila Archdiocese, 2009, pp. 599-607.  Blessing could be done on Saturday evening or on the 1st Sunday of Advent; by priest, deacon or lay minister – even by a member of the family, if it is done at home.

Here is a short form of blessing.

Introductory rites

Leader :  In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

All       : Amen.

Leader (priest or deacon)

: May God, who enlightens every heart be with you.

All       : and with your Spirit.

Lay leader: “Let us praise God, who enlightens every heart, now and forever.”

All       : Amen.

Leader : My brothers and sisters, today we begin the season of Advent.  We open our hearts to God’s love as we prepare to welcome Christ into our lives and homes.  The candles of this wreath remind us that Jesus Christ came to conquer the darkness of sin and to lead us into the light of his glorious Kingdom.

Reading of the Word of God

Is. 9: 1-2, 56; or Is. 63: 16-17, 19; 64: 2-7.

1 Jh 1: 5-7.

Prayer of Blessing

Lord God, your Church joyfully awaits the coming of its Savior, who enlightens our hearts and dispels the darkness of ignorance and sin.  Pour forth your blessings upon us as we light the candles of this wreath; may their light reflect the splendor of Christ, who is Lord, forever and ever.

All       :  Amen.

Concluding rite

May the light of Christ lead you to the joy of his Kingdom.

Then the priest/deacon blesses all presents:

“And may Almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

All       : Amen.

Lay      : May the light of Christ lead us to the joy of his Kingdom now and forever.

All       :  Amen.

Concluding Song

Back to: COMMUNICATIONS from the Bishop (No. 904 November 25, 2016)

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About bishopdinualdo

Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez is the Bishop of the Diocese of Marbel
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