longing for His coming (advent & parousia)


waking up, yawning wide and loud…quick cup of cocoa…

frosty mornings freezing the cheeks…fuzzy gloves and scarfs reminding of mom’s long evenings filled with knitting by the yellowish lamp…walking in the stillness of the dawn…almost holy darkness, interrupted only by the few early risers…walking to the church every morning…children carrying lampions…laughter in the distance…snow screeching under my boots, following the path carved in the patches of snow…feel of expectation and anticipation…

entering the church…dancing flames of small candles cutting through the darkness expanded from the humongous doors toward the arches of the marbled sanctuary…the familiar smells of the incense… the sounds of the songs in glorious minor keys, spreading longing, yearning and anticipating…

These are my memories of Advent mornings from my childhood in Poland. We would go to church every morning to the 6am Advent Mass, called Roraty (“rorate coeli” means “heaven, drop dew” in Latin). It was a time of preparation for our hearts, a time for making a way for the Lord to come through the door of our souls, time of silence, fasting and repentance. During this time we would not sing songs with Hallelujahs, but rather songs that were crying for the Saviour to come back to the earth.

Advent (about 4 weeks before Christmas) was to remind us about the first and the second coming – Parousia – of Jesus to our planet.

[ad-venio: to come to ]

During this time the faithful are admonished to prapare themselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord’s coming into the world as the incarnate God of love, thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in holy Communion and through grace, and thereby to make themselves ready for his final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world
[Catholic Encyclopedia]


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