Saint Theresa Church - Rye Beach, NH
A Catholic Community
Rev. Gary Kosmowski , Pastor
815 Central Road, PO Box 482
Rye Beach, NH 03871
FROM THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT
2nd Sunday of Advent.
“A voice cries out in the desert: prepare the way of the Lord!” Glad tidings of great joy are upon us! Prepare the way of the Lord!
In today’s First Reading, Isaiah declares that the Messiah of God is coming, that the sins of mankind will be forgiven. Prepare your souls and homes to receive the Lord when he comes! Open your hearts to his arrival; sweep clean the floors; set the table, and wait for the Guest, for his arrival will carry the strength of his justice; he will tenderly care for his people. “Comfort, give comfort to my people.” Isaiah 40:1.
The Responsorial Psalm carries a message of hope that, with the justice of the Almighty, the message of comfort spoken of in the First Reading will prevail. Peace will be upon the people of God; all goodness will come of God’s justice.
In the Second Reading, Peter tells us that all things promised by God will come with patient waiting. We must conduct ourselves in holiness until that day, when all of heaven and earth will pass away to be replaced by a new heaven and a new earth. “Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him...” 2 Peter 3:14. Be ready!
John the Baptist appears in today’s gospel reading from the Gospel of Mark as foretold by the Prophet Isaiah in the First Reading. He came and baptized in the River Jordan, saying, “One mightier than I is coming…I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals…he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:7-8. John the Baptist’s proclamation of a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins is as relevant to us in this time of Advent as it was for those who came to the river’s edge to meet him. John’s ministry is seen as God’s prelude to the saving mission of his Son. May we be renewed in our own baptism this Advent, ready to meet the Lord when he comes!
Our hymnody this weekend reflects the Scripture readings with, On Jordan’s Bank, WINCHESTER NEW, at the Entrance, marking the arrival of John the Baptist; Ready the Way at the Offertory, carrying the Baptist’s message; Like a Shepherd, at Communion, singing of the First Reading. At the 10:00Mass, the Choir follows that with, Come Watch and Wait, LANGSTONE HARBOR, arranged by Paul Inwood. This choral piece also carries the Baptist’s message, with a medieval flair! At the Closing we sing, The Advent of Our King, ST. THOMAS (WILLIAMS). “Then let us meet him on the road, with songs of holy joy.” Ready the way! Make straight his path!
What Happened to the Gloria?
After just mentioning why we sing the Gloria, it has disappeared. Why?
There are certain times when the Gloria is omitted from the liturgy. The Sundays of Advent are among them. Others include Ash Wednesday and the Sundays of Lent. The Gloria is omitted during Advent because Advent is a penitential season of the Church, just like Lent. Even though the Church sings Alleluia during Advent, She gives us this penitential season to call us to the same conversion that John the Baptist called the Jewish people to, as they awaited the arrival of the Messiah. Because the Gloria is a prayer of supreme joy, it is suppressed during Advent and is not heard again until the vigil Mass of Christmas Eve.
Mary Lou Arcidi – Music Director
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