In the Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter cycles of the liturgical year my parish prays a sung blessing and dismissal by Michael Joncas and Alan Hommerding found in the collection, God of Light Be Praised: Music for Evening Prayer.
This blessing/dismissal offers a variation for Advent, for the Christmas season, for Lent, for the Easter season and for Ordinary Time. The Advent setting includes the line,
May the blessing of Christ whose coming we celebrate,
whose Advent we await,
be upon you.
Especially appealing here is the fine articulation of Advent's true spirit. All through the year and in a special way at Christmas we celebrate the coming of Christ, the Word made flesh. Yet we are also the people who live in expectation of the Lord's coming again, the Lord whose "Advent we await." This phrasing reminds us that Advent is not only a season, it's also an event whose fulfillment we await.
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