These days my attempts to fully participate at Mass often come out by loudly proclaiming something like, “And also with…uh…your Spirit.” Like many people I am stumbling through the new Mass translation and doing my best to remember the new responses—even when I’m halfway through the old response. In spite of my rather awkward learning curve, I am determined to learn to appreciate the new translation. One way I have done this is by studying the new wording for many of the prayers of the Mass—the opening prayer (now called the Collect), the preface, the Eucharistic Prayers, etc.
Today we wait in anticipation for the holy feast of Christmas. Our shopping is (hopefully) done, the presents are wrapped, and we look forward to time with family and friends and all the joyful celebrations of the holiday. But I also clear a space to look forward to the coming of Christ, to remember the profound reality of this season. For inspiration I look to the prayers of the liturgy and find such beautiful truths expressed in how we pray as a Church.
“Come quickly, we pray, Lord Jesus, and do not delay, that those who trust in your compassion may find solace and relief in your coming.”—Collect from the morning Mass for December 24
Solace and relief. Words we don’t often consider, but which are uniquely comforting to my frazzled spirit. For me, as for many, this year has held more than its share of challenges. Sometimes I am bone-weary of the fight. Solace and relief. These words make me take a huge sigh of relief. I find how much I desire these gifts that only a Savior can adequately give.
We anticipate so many celebrations of Christmas. And we anticipate the sure and certain hope of eternal blessing in heaven. But today my heart anticipates the solace and relief that Christ comes to bring in the simplicity and silence of his birth, and my heart finds joy in these simple gifts. Merry Christmas to all!
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