Tag Archives: Advent

Advent: the time of our Salvation is nearer

Behold, the great Prophet shall come; and He shall renew Jerusalem, alleluia.

 

A thrilling voice by rings

Rebuking guilt and darksome things:

Vain dreams of sins and visions fly;

Christ in His might shines forth on high.

 



St John the Baptist.jpgNow let each torpid soul arise

That sunk in guilt and wounded lies;

See, the new Star’s refulgent ray

Shall chase disease and sin away.

 

The Lamb descends from heaven above

To pardon sin with freest love:

For such indulgent mercy shown

With tearful joy our thanks we own.

 

That when again He shines revealed

And trembling worlds to terror yield,

He give not sin its just reward

But in His love protect and guard.

 

To God the Father, God the Son,

And God the Spirit, Three in One,

Praise, honor, might and glory be

From age to age eternally. Amen.

 

V. The voice of one crying in the desert: make ready the way of the Lord.

R. Make straight His paths.

 

We beseech Thee, O Lord, show forth Thy power and come, that we may deserve to be rescued from the ever-threatening danger of our sins, and be saved by Thy deliverance.

Advent in the Maronite Church

Do you know if Advent’s begun? It has if you are a Maronite Catholic. The typical 4 week Advent season for many Catholics of the Latin Church is not the norm for all Catholics.


qoorbono.jpgSeason of the Glorious Birth of the Lord

(Season of soboorey, or “Happy Announcements”)

Visitation1.jpgThe pre-Christmas Cycle has six Sundays, which all focus on the unfolding revelation of the Birth of the Messiah. This is done in the context of the immediate family of Jesus, centering on Mary and Joseph (Matthew 1, 2; Luke 1, 2). This is certainly in line with the Antiochene emphasis on the humanity of Jesus and its appreciation of the historical aspect of Scripture. The greatest Announcement, of course, is that of the angels on Christmas.

 

There are one or two Sundays after Christmas (depending upon the day of the week that Christmas occurs), one of which is always celebrated: the Finding in the Temple. On 1 January the liturgical commemoration is Feast of the Circumcision (Naming) of the Child Jesus, with a second commemoration of the common Eastern observance of Saint Basil.

 

The Sundays of the Advent Season in the Maronite Church are:

 

  • Announcement to Zechariah
  • Announcement to the Virgin Mary
  • Visitation to Elizabeth
  • Birth of John the Baptizer
  • Revelation to Joseph
  • Genealogy Sunday
  • The Finding in the Temple

In celebrating the Finding in the Temple (Sunday after Christmas) the Maronite Church uses the 3rd Infancy Narrative of Luke (chapter 2) to parallel closely the Gospel development of Jesus’ own growth. He is seen in the Temple, recognizing his true “Father” (his divine Origin) and preparing himself for his Baptism and public life. In addition, Joseph disappears from all the Gospel narratives: Joseph’s earthly fathering is done, and Jesus will now proclaim the heavenly Father. The Twelve Days of Christmas take us to the Feast of the Epiphany (Theophany).

 

Season of Epiphany (in Syriac this feast is called Denho)


Jesus lover of humanity.jpgTaking the Baptism of Jesus (6 January) as the model, the Maronite Church celebrates our new life of Baptism and Chrismation in this Season. In Syriac it is called denho. For some Syriac Churches, this season is the traditional time of reception of catechumens into the Church. But for all Syriac Christians, denho is a time to reflect on our baptism. During the first three days of the Sixth Week of Epiphany (Monday-Wednesday) the Maronite Church observes “Nineveh Days.” These three days are penitential and serve to anticipate the Season of Great Lent. In one form or another, these days are observed by all the Syriac Churches, East and West.

(Thanks to R. Dom Bartholomew Leon, OSB, Saint Rafka Mission, Greenville, SC)

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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