Monday, 28 November 2011

Venturus est Dominus...

Well, Advent is finally upon us. It is less sombre than Lent, and, even as the Gnomes standing upon the high walls of Gondolin await the coming of the Dawn, and to raise their voices in song at the uprising of the Sun, the Church too awaits the coming of Christ, the liturgical Sun and the Sun of Justice. It is a liturgical season of rather blended feelings; on the one hand, the use of folded chasubles reminds us of our need to do penance, and the sorrow of the Church on earth is united to the sorrow of the old Israelites awaiting the Messias (indeed it is behoveful that we all of us unite ourselves to the old Israelites in asking God for the Christ-child), but on the other hand, the Church ceases not to say Alleluia in the Sacred Liturgy, nor wholly to assuage gladness in the Sanctorale. As Dom Prosper put it: ''This is the reason why the Alleluia accompanies even her sighs, and why she seems to be at once joyous and sad, waiting for the coming of that holy night which will be brighter to her than the most sunny of days, and on which her joy will expel all her sorrow.'' (The Liturgical Year, Volume I, Advent).

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