|03:04 pm - Growing into Liturgy: Advent and Christmas|
I did my best to keep the season of Advent this year as I've read that it should be kept--as a season of waiting, of prayer, of contemplation and preparing and expecting something to arrive. I wasn't strict about it, although I did make an Advent wreath, and we read from a book of meditations some evenings. But mostly I simply attempted to be aware of how my own heart is waiting, what I need rescuing from, what those around me are in need of, and to allow myself to feel those needs and wait expectantly for God's answers, whatever form they might take.
That sounds more spiritual than it actually was, but I think the practice was good for me.
The midnight mass on Christmas Eve moved me in ways it has not for some years. I felt more ready to acknowledge places in my life and our world where I despair of healing, of salvation, of rescue... and more able to hold out my hands and hope for all those things, to ask God to come to me, to us, and draw us from darkness into light, from death into life, from fear into action, from isolation into love.
And I am feeling a continuation of that ability to hope, as I remind myself that we are still in the season of Christmas, the 12 days leading up to Epiphany. Each day is a possible arrival of the goodness of God; each day I have the opportunity recognize the ways in which I collaborate with despair and discouragement, and to surrender those for the gift of hope.
I have loved the liturgy of the Church for some time now, but I think I have not understood how useful it can be until now.