The Wonderful Time of Advent
1957 saw the publication of the English translation of the German opus by Dr. Pius Parsch, The Church’s Year of Grace. This work was one of the foundation stones that enabled the liturgical enterprise of Vatican II Council. To give a flavour of the work, here follows a quotation from Dr. Parsch’s introduction to Advent. He speaks of God’s pedagogy:
That preparation was threefold:
- the entire Old Covenant served as pedagogue unto Christ;
- when the fullness of time had come, God sent a special forerunner, whose example and preaching readied the Jewish people for the Messiah; and finally
- the eternal Father built for His Son a temple of precious stones, the body and soul of the Immaculate Virgin. Through such pedagogy, God prepared the human family for the historical coming of Christ; it can now teach us to await His coming to us in grace. Do you now understand why these three_ the Old Testament, John the Baptist, and Mary _ play such prominent roles during Advent? *
Indeed, the Advent liturgy is a very rich treasure and is well worth our attention. Why not adopt the habit of preparing your Sunday Mass by reading on Saturday morning the proposed liturgical readings and prayers proposed for the liturgy of the following Sunday? This will make your Sunday mass a much more interesting and enriching event.
Celebrating Advent including an Advent Wreath at home, which very naturally can become an attraction for family prayer, leads to a Christmas that will truly shine with Spiritual light in our excessively impoverished Secular Age.
Msgr Peter Schonenbach
National Spiritual Advisor
*Pius Parsch, The Church’s Year of Grace, Order of St Benedict, 1957, Collegeville Minnesota.