Tomorrow everything changes. We begin the last few days of Advent with a new Preface and the magnificent series of ‘O’ antiphons at Vespers which chart the final steps of our journey. (If you would like to read more about Advent and listen to the ‘O’ antiphons sung in Latin according to a traditional plainsong melody, with a brief explanation of the texts and references, see our main site, here.)
I think there can be no better meditation for today, no better preparation for the remaining days before Christmas, than praying the Second Preface of Advent. It is ‘theology in a nutshell’; so, if you can, take the time to let the phrases sink in and do their work in you:
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father,
almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.
For all the oracles of the prophets foretold him,
the Virgin Mother longed for him with love beyond all telling,
John the Baptist sang of his coming
and proclaimed his presence when he came.
It is by his gift that already we rejoice at the mystery of his Nativity,
so that he may find us watchful in prayer
and exultant in his praise.
And so, with Angels and Archangels,
with Thrones and Dominions,
and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,
we sing the hymn of your glory,
as without end we acclaim:
Holy, Holy, Holy . . .