Last Days of Advent: 21 December

Here is the Collect for 21 December. We are not very far away now!

Preces populi tui, quaesumus, Domine, clementer exaudi,
ut, qui de Unigeniti tui in nostra carne adventu laetantur,
cum venerit in sua maiestate,
aeternae vitae praemium consequantur.

This prayer is pretty much identical to a Post Communion in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary during the "tenth month" ("Decem"-ber). Laetor is deponent.

Gratiously hear the prayers of Your people, we beseech You, O Lord,
so that those who are rejoicing about the Coming of Your Only-Begotten in our flesh,
may attain the reward of eternal life
when he will have come in His majesty.

As we have seen many times, the prayers of Advent look in two directions, back to the historic moment of the Nativity of the Lord and also forward to the moment when He will come in glory to judge the living and the dead.

The prayer juxtaposes caro ("flesh") and maiestas ("glory" or "majesty"). The maiestas here refers to the characteristic of God we see at times revealed in Scripture as, for example, when Moses encounters God in the cloud on the mountain or in the tent of the ark. The encounter with God’s majestic glory (Greek doxa, Hebrew kabod) transforms Moses flesh so that it is so bright that he must wear a veil over his face. The Lord, when He comes, will transform everything in His presence and our sight of Him in the bosom of the Trinity in the Beatific Vision will transform our human flesh forever.

The prayer is also careful to link joy with prayer, as if prayer would be a sine qua non for joy.

>Rhetorial question alert:

Can someone who does not pray truly be happy?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Tom says:

    NLC translation:

    In Your goodness, Lord, listen to Your people’s prayer. We rejoice at Your Son’s coming in human form like our own: Grant that when He comes again in majesty, we may received the reward of eternal life.

  2. ICEL version:

    Lord, hear the prayers of your people.
    May we who celebrate the birth of you Son as man
    rejoice in the gift of eternal life
    when he comes in glory.

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