The expectation of Our Lady

At the beginning of Advent I always look forward to Fr Faber's hymn Like the Dawning of the Morning which we recovered at Blackfen a few years ago. The above graphic will enlarge to a printable score if you want one. There is an older post with the words for all eight verses. Usually, people sing verses 1, 2 and 8 but if you have a lot of people for communion, you might want all the verses.

If you want some further food for thought on the theme, here is a sermon:
During Advent, we should prepare spiritually for Christmas. We need to plan to make a good confession, we should look at our daily prayers to see whether we have let those slip, consider how we give priority to Mass by arriving early and staying afterwards to pray. You might also consider whether you can get to one of our times of adoration in the parish, on Thursday evening or on Saturday morning.

As we prepare for Christmas, it helps to consider the example of Our Blessed Lady’s own preparation for the birth of Christ during the time of her pregnancy. At the moment that the angel greeted her with the Ave, she was anointed Queen, the Queen of all the angels and saints, to be crowned by Christ in heaven after her Assumption.

She accepted this veneration of the angels with humility but also with genuine and unsullied joy and gratitude: the Father had bestowed a great favour upon her. Sweetly and in loving happiness, she accepted the sublime vocation with which God favoured her, and she accepts lovingly from us, for the sake of her Son, the veneration which we pay to her.

As she heard the psalms and prophecies chanted in the synagogue, she knew that they were coming to fruition in her own womb where the Messiah was growing. When she heard “You are my son it is I who have begotten you this day” she knew that the Son was begotten now in time to be our Saviour. When she hear the verse of Isaiah “The virgin will conceive and bear a son” she knew that this prophecy had come about in her own life.

She eagerly looked forward to the time when she would give birth and see His face before anyone else on earth.

We are also favoured by God with the sanctifying grace that He gave us at our Baptism and strengthened at our Confirmation. We have also given the living God a home in our hearts when we have received Him in Holy Communion. Humbly, we have also gratefully received the renewal of His grace in the sacrament of Penance.

We carry Christ in ourselves, most especially when we have received Holy Communion. Reflecting on Our Lady’s pregnancy, we can understand a little better the requirement of profound reverence and adoration that we should show when He deigns to come to us. Receiving Holy Communion, we share with Our Blessed Lady the privilege of carrying the Son of God in our bodies. Let us ask Our Lady to help us to have a renewed reverence as we receive Holy Communion today, and prepare for the feast of Christmas humbly thankful for the privilege which many others do not know.

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