Blog Template Theology of the Body: Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

Today, as the first Sunday in Advent, marks the beginning of the liturgical year. When I was a child, growing up quasi-Lutheran, we celebrated Advent with a traditional Advent wreath and candles marking each Sunday in the weeks leading up to Christmas. (I seem to recall that each Sunday was given a special designation, but can't find much about this. Does anyone have any firmer ideas on this?) Advent, therefore, has always had a very special place in my heart, and I encourage everyone to observe it with due reverence.

As I understand it, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Advent is regarded as a Lenten fast anticipating the nativity. The penitential nature of Advent in the Western Church is evident in the purple vestments and candles of the Advent wreath, and according to New Advent, Pope Innocent III wished to designate black as the color of Advent, but purple was already to well established. It is incumbent upon us who desire to become like Christ, to use this time to reflect on our year, our selves and affirm our desire to put off the old man and take up the new.

It seems also like a good opportunity to make some spiritual resolutions for the new year. I recently received as a gift from Fr. WB at Whitehall a copy of The Book of Divine Worship, the Anglican rite adapted for Catholic churches, and intend to take up the habit of saying the Daily Office, morning and evening prayer, this year. (Thanks, Father!) How are other readers/contributors to this blog preparing themselves for the Incarnation?