Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that, awake, we may keep watch w/ Christ and asleep rest in His peace. (Antiphon to the Canticle of Simeon, Compline [Night Prayer] of the Catholic Church Liturgy of the Hours)Advent is about sleep, holy sleep. Branches laden with snow, even if you live in the Brazos Valley of Texas, where snow comes once a decade and in a layer of 1/2-inch that lasts maybe the morning.
Advent is holy darkness. Darkness during the Daily Mass you attended all year in the sunlight—but now, the stained glass is hidden from your sight. And you trust that Mary is still there, stepping on the serpent, even as you take in your breath when the Eucharist is held aloft and you hear (and whisper)
Advent is waiting. Like Simeon waited. And being given one brief glimpse. And that is enough.
Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that, awake, we may keep watch w/ Christ and asleep rest in His peace. Amen.
Your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever, world without end. Amen.
Happy Advent, one and all.