On Sunday, the 2nd Sunday of Advent the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer was the first Preface of Advent. The Preface is used daily in the first part of Advent, up to the 16th of December. From the 17th another Preface is provided, for the last days of Advent when our attention shifts from the anticipation of the Second Coming to the celebration of the First, in the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
The day of this post is the first of the Year of Mercy, and is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
The Preface of Sunday gathers something of all these things in its thanksgiving for God’s goodness, and subsumes them under the great plan of God to restore us to the intimacy with Him which Adam and Eve squandered, for which Israel longed but fell short.
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…
Adam and Eve squandered God’s gift and Israel fell short… And we, reborn in Christ though we are, are still waiting, sometimes striving to be worthy, ready, for the fulfilment of God’s promises.
How often we misjudge, fall, fail, lose interest, lose focus. But we are guarded, guided, shepherded by the love of God. Mercy surrounds and sustains us, that we might live by the gift of love.
- On this day we celebrate Mary’s faithfulness from Conception to Assumption (and beyond!), and as we embark on a journey to better know God’s mercy let us again give thanks for the opportunity, and bring to God in prayer those probably ingrained challenges to faithfulness particular to us, asking for help.
Image of the liberation of Adam and Even through the Resurrection of Christ. Chora church, Istanbul. (c) 2002, Allen Morris.