Watching (ourselves) and waiting

Watching (ourselves) and waiting

The First Sunday of Advent

It’s easy at Advent to become a bit overzealous with our rubrics around these four short weeks. Of course we should encourage one another to observe the distinct spirit of Advent and not let too much of the Christmas season creep in just yet. But you know you might have moved into “liturgical police” territory when you notice your family, friends, and coworkers hiding their Christmas decorations or suddenly switching off their Christmas music playlist whenever they see you coming by.

Advent is a time to practice both sobriety and eager joy in our liturgies and in our behavior. Therefore, instead of being vigilant about what others are doing, let us keep better watch over how we conduct ourselves. Click To Tweet

The Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the General Roman Calendar call Advent “a period of devout and expectant delight” (39). Thus it is a time to practice both sobriety and eager joy in our liturgies and in our behavior. Therefore, instead of being vigilant about what others are doing, let us keep better watch over how we conduct ourselves. In preparing music, environment, and homiletic texts for Advent, also keep the Christmas season in mind and allow not only anticipation but also delight to grow gradually through these four weeks. Make it your own priority to pray more devoutly and to be a more joyful presence with everyone you encounter this season. Then will St. Paul’s prayer for us come to be: “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all” (1 Thes 3:12).

 
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”

Image credit: Matthew Henry, unsplash, CC0.

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