Mercy Mondays: Chaplain’s Corner – Information on the Advent season
The Christian church celebrates the season of Advent with great expectation, and I (Rev. Scott Pontes) wanted to educate those who might not understand Advent about this special time of year.
Advent consists of the four weeks leading up to the celebration of Christmas. Advent literally means “coming” in Latin. Advent is an appeal for all believers to be vigilant in the sense that we believe that the Lord Jesus is coming once again to meet his people and to proclaim to them the good news of his mercy and love.
Advent is a time that teaches us this waiting time should be a time of watchfulness, as well as a time of active and effective commitment to the construction of the Kingdom of God through the ways we share the gifts of God’s mercy and love with each other. The great feast we also await is the feast of Christmas, where those who believe in the Christ child as Savior will have an encounter with him that will lead to repentance.
There a number of different practices that Christians use to help us be vigilant during this Advent season. In Our Lady of Mercy Chapel during the Festival of Lights, which was held at Salve Regina last week, the Advent Wreath is lit to commemorate this time of year. Four candles are lit each week leading up to Christmas.
Another practice is taking a few minutes each day with the Scriptures to reflect on the story of the birth of Jesus or other important passages. At the entrance to the Our Lady of Mercy Chapel on campus, there are small guides for those who are interested in learning more about how to meditate on the sacred readings throughout Advent.
The various Advent traditions during this time emphasize that the true essence of God is love and mercy. May Salve Regina celebrate these ideals throughout the holiday season.
“Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the ways of Your only begotten Son, that through His coming we may be worthy to serve You with purified minds. Who lives and reigns, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.”
Offered by Rev. Scott Pontes, chaplain at Salve Regina’s Our Lady of Mercy Chapel
This post is part of an ongoing series called Mercy Mondays that highlights Salve Regina’s dedication to its Mercy Mission. Search the tag Mercy Mission for more updates on the Mercy branches of Salve Regina.