2nd Sun­day of Ad­vent: ‘Be spir­i­tu­ally pre­pared’

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page - By CHRISTINA I. HERMOSO

More than the phys­i­cal prepa­ra­tions for Christ­mas, a Ro­man Catholic Church leader re­minded the faith­ful of a more im­por­tant prepa­ra­tion, that is, to be “spir­i­tu­ally pre­pared” for the cel­e­bra­tion of the Na­tiv­ity of Christ.

As Chris­ten­dom marks the Se­cond Sun­day of Ad­vent to­day, Boron­gan, Sa­mar Bishop Crispin Var­quez re­minded the faith­ful that “Ad­vent is a time to pre­pare one­self spir­i­tu­ally for the cel­e­bra­tion of Christ­mas. It is an op­por­tune time

to strengthen and to deepen our faith,” he said.

Var­quez said, the faith­ful in the Dio­cese of Sa­mar will cel­e­brate a most mem­o­rable and sig­nif­i­cant “Sim­bang Gabi” and Christ­mas this year.

“The faith­ful in East­ern Sa­mar are ea­gerly await­ing the his­toric re­turn of the Balangiga Bells to the St. Lawrence the Mar­tyr Par­ish af­ter 117 years. It will be re­turned to us on Dec. 15, a day be­fore the start of the Misa de Gallo, the nine­day novena masses in prepa­ra­tion for Christ­mas,” the prelate said.

Cel­e­brated with great an­tic­i­pa­tion and hope, the tra­di­tional theme for the Se­cond Sun­day of Ad­vent is God’s Divine Love for Mankind.

2nd pur­ple can­dle

To­day’s Church rites will in­clude the light­ing of the can­dle of peace, the se­cond pur­ple can­dle in the Ad­vent wreath. Also known as the Beth­le­hem can­dle, the se­cond pur­ple can­dle “serves as a re­minder that Je­sus was born in Beth­le­hem and that Je­sus is King,” said Church of­fi­cials. The first pur­ple can­dle, the sym­bol of hope, that was lit last Sun­day on the First Sun­day of Ad­vent, will also be lighted.

Ac­cord­ing to the Church, the pro­gres­sion in the light­ing of the can­dles sym­bol­izes the var­i­ous as­pects of our wait­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. As the can­dles are lighted over the four-week Sea­son of Ad­vent, it mir­rors the dark­ness of fear re­ced­ing and the shad­ows of sin fall­ing away as more and more light is shed into the world.

Confessional prayers will be re­cited dur­ing the Eucharis­tic cel­e­bra­tion as part of the pe­riod of an­tic­i­pa­tion and wait­ing for the Se­cond Com­ing while pre­par­ing for the cel­e­bra­tion of the First Com­ing of Christ at Christ­mas. Church­go­ers are en­cour­aged to go to con­fes­sion “to wel­come the dawn­ing of the Birth of Christ with clean hearts.”

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