Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the beginning of four weeks of Christian preparation for Christmas.
This year, it also marked the day when American Catholics began using a new translation of the Roman Missal, the first big change in what we say at mass in 40 years.
The rephrasing began with the second response of the mass. The congregation used to say: “And also with you.” Now: “And with your spirit.”
At St. Peter’s I’d say 0 of 200 people (including myself) were following the missal closely enough to override the habit of decades and give the new response. “And with your spirit” popped up throughout the mass. By the end we were at about 50% compliance with the new text.
As part of today’s homily, the priest observed that the spirit of Advent is “To be awake, to be aware.” To a Buddhist sympathizer like me, this sounds like mindfulness. This Advent I’ll be giving special attention to silent prayer, perhaps lighting the Advent wreath briefly each day. Since Dorothy Day’s published diaries, The Duty of Delight, are finally available as an e-book, I’ll be including them in my Advent meditations. The US Bishops have sometimes published an online Advent prayer guide; I can’t find anything like that this year, so until I do find something comprehensive, I’ll be working with whatever Susan Stabile posts that day.