The Church provides two Prefaces for use in the Eucharistic Prayer during Advent.
The first is used at all Masses to the 16th December, unless they have their own proper preface (as will always be the case with the feast of Immaculate Conception).
The second is used at all Masses from the 17th to the 24th December, unless they have a proper preface (and in Westminster Diocese no Mass will have its own proper preface, so the 2nd Advent Preface will be heard every day).
It is relatively unusual to hear a Preface so regularly as we hear these. Lent has a different preface for each week; and during the rest of the Year there are a wide selection of Prefaces to be chosen from.
The first Advent preface, heard today for the last time this year, is rather simple, rather matter of fact about things. There is sobriety in the language, but at the same time it speaks of great mysteries of faith – God’s plan, the Incarnation, the Second Coming, Salvation, and the hope that belongs to faith.
The two comings of Christ
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 he assumed at his first coming
the lowliness of human flesh,
and so fulfilled the design you formed long ago,
and opened for us the way to eternal salvation,
that, when he comes again in glory and majesty
and all is at last made manifest,
we who watch for that day
may inherit the great promise
in which now we dare to hope.
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…
And these great mysteries are for us. There is wonder, indeed. These great mysteries are for us, to win us for life.
- Bring your thanksgiving and other thoughts to God in a time of prayer.
Photograph is of an icon of the Second Coming in the Domus Galilaeae, a centre of formation for members of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, on the hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee, in the Holy Land. (c) 2012, Allen Morris.