Advent: A Sense of the Season
December is the time for expressing the hope and strengthening the dreams that will carry us through the next year. Advent is the way we as church express our hopes. Prophetic visions, prayers and songs calling for the Lord to come, do help us to hope profoundly. Advent allows us to do not what most others do in December - but to see in the coming Lord the answer to our dreams. In our Catholic tradition, keeping Advent means singing the songs of expectation, of our hopes and longing, before we enter into the full-throated praise of Christmas carols.
Here are a few lines from our tradition on what Advent is about: "Advent has a twofold character: as a season to prepare us for Christmas when Christ's first coming is remembered; as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and the heart to await Christ's second coming at the end of time. Advent is thus a period for devout and joyful expectation." (General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, #39)
Thomas Merton, in his book "Seasons of Celebration," reviewed the ways Saint Bernard of Clairvaux approached these comings of Christ. The first advent was Christ's birth. The other will be at the end of time. Faith in these two stimulates recognition of a third, the advent of Christ in our church now, today. Viewed from this perspective, the Advent liturgy, with its scriptures, prayers and songs, is neither a romantic return to the Old Testament while we wait for the baby at Bethlehem, nor is it an exercise in expressing hope for an ever-receding end of time. The Advent liturgy is neither nostalgic, nor illusory. When we take the tradition and enter it fully, we become Advent, the people in and through whom Christ comes.
Wednesday, December 21 Reconciliation from Noon to 2:00pm
Wednesday, December 21 “A Light Is On for You” – all churches in the Dallas Diocese will have Reconciliation from 7:00pm-9:00pm.
Reconciliation on Saturdays
December 3, 10, and 17 - 9:00am to 10:00am and 3:30pm to 4:30pm
December 24 – 9:00am to 11:00am only
December 31 3:30pm-4:30pm only