First Advent Sunday of 2011

The Roman Missal, Third Edition
New Words: A Deeper Meaning, but the same Mass

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This Advent the English-speaking parts of the Church will begin to use the new translation of the Roman Missal in our celebration of the Eucharist. The Roman Missal is the large red book in which all the prayers of the Mass are located. It is a sacramental and as such is always treated with the respect and reverence it is due. While the specific changes in the words of the Mass are minimal, the use of the new language of the Missal gives us an opportunity to review the meaning of the Mass and reflect on the quality of our prayer as a community of faith.

Advent is a period of hopeful, vigilant waiting for the coming of Christ at Christmas. But on a deeper level, Advent characterizes the stance of the Christian throughout his or her life. For as long as we live on this earth, we are watching and waiting for the return of the Lord at the end of time. The season of Advent reminds us to raise our eyes from the daily distractions of everyday life to gaze toward the horizon of our hope, our inclusion in the kingdom of God. Advent focuses our attention not only on the end of the calendar year and the Solemnity of the Nativity of Christ, but also on the end of time itself when Christ will return for the second time in human history and present all of creation to his heavenly Father.

The one who holds out until the end will see salvation. The believer who is able to watch carefully and wait patiently for the return of Christ will be saved. It is a message of encouragement and hope for each one of us on our journey to meet God and remain in eternal communion with him. Those who persevere to the end will discover that the object of their longing, God himself, was there all along drawing them to himself.

I encourage you to maintain a spirit of prayer during the days of Advent. There will be much to distract you from the authentic spirit of this joyful season of anticipation for the coming of Christ at Christmas. Amidst the many responsibilities, anxieties and concerns which you face each day, turn to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to fill you with His strength and peace. I assure all of you, dear friends, of my own prayerful support in Christ Jesus.

Let us use this season of Advent to welcome the new translation of the Roman Missal and renew our understanding of the Mass. May God bless you throughout this joyful season.

Reverend Monsignor John Pollard
Pastor

– from the Parish Bulletin of Queen of All Saints, my local parish

Dear Monsignor Pollard and Monsignor Prist (Pastor Emeritus),

How lucky I am to have placed my roots in your parish as you both are wonderful defenders and teachers of the faith (what we Catholics like to call good catechists)! As Monsignor Pollard takes the time in the bulletin to remind us to draw strength from Christ’s message of salvation; during the sermon yesterday Monsignor Prist used the Gospel reading (“Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. — Mark 13:33-37) to remind us to guard our minds against the distractions of this world and stay focused on Christ and repent of our sins to be ready for Him (I like the fact that Prist isn’t afraid to talk about sin and repentance from the pulpit — how often to you hear that message in church today?) I truly am blessed to have found this special church.

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About Fake Herzog

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