Monday, December 04, 2006

First Sunday in Advent

Last year for our church's Advent bulletins, Papa Rooster wrote little summaries of the tradition and theology for each Sunday. I'm a little late with this one, for this past Sunday:

This first week of Advent is introduced with the antiphon, “Our King and Savior now draws near: Come let us adore him,” and the response at the lighting of the first Advent candle, “Lord, grant us your light, that being rid of the darkness of our hearts, we may come to the true light which is Christ.” As the annual cycle of our sun diminishes, the Church sees the Advent of Christ’s Light increasing. His light is not bound to our times and our seasons, but He has entered into time and becomes the Light-source for all times. Whereas the ancient pagan festivals looked forward to the resurgence of the earthly sun, the Church anticipates the Sun of Righteousness whose light never fades. It is this “Sun of Righteousness”, as Malachi prophesies, who will bring healing in His wings. The Church begins praying this Sunday to remain awake, to put on the armor of light, which is Christ, the Light of the world. The world around us may grow dim, the cosmos itself will one day be rent, but we will be sustained by His Spirit.

And this was the Collect or prayer for the First Sunday in Advent:

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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