|We have redesigned the READINGS pages for each Liturgical Season, starting with ADVENT (at the moment). Scroll down past the Overview text, below. The Sundays are listed in sequence with any Solemnities occurring in the Season at the bottom of the listing. A series of icons for each liturgy is presented. Hovering your mouse over an icon will open a very brief explanation of the purpose of the icon. Click on the icon you are interested in viewing or (in the case of ORAL readings) that you want to listen to. Almost any media player on your computer can be used.|
Although all four 1st readings are from different times and authors (Jeremiah, Baruch, Zephaniah, and Mica) the common message to all four passages is the same – God is coming among the people and He will save them from their slavery and misery. Israel shall be preeminent among the peoples and shall enjoy all the splendors and bounty of the world.
This message is presented as joyful, expectant, and the best news people have ever heard! Your task as lector is to reflect that joy and expectancy in how you proclaim the passages. Put a smile on your face! Keep pictures in your mind of those times when you have personally and thoroughly enjoyed some event!
The letters of Paul dominate the 2nd readings in this year’s Advent liturgies (we’re attributing the letter to the Hebrews to Paul but there is almost complete agreement among experts that it was written by some other author). The theme, however, is that we should grow in Love both as a means of becoming the fully mature creation God wants of us as well as the means by which we develop our relationship with God. All this is to be accomplished by taking Jesus’ teachings to heart.
The theme continues the joyous theme of the 1st readings but with a clear focus on the new “law” – the “new covenant” that Christ (God) established by His life, death, and resurrection. Keep the smiling face of the 1st readings but reflect your determination to be a truly loving person per Love’s Christian meaning. Be excited to share this understanding with your listeners!
The Gospel passages are all from Luke. Luke begins with Jesus’ warning about what the “end days” will be like. Jesus cautions us to stay vigilant and prepared, avoiding the temptations of the world. Then the passages shift to John the Baptist delivering his urgent call for repentance because the Lord is coming and his declaration that he (John the Baptist) is not the Messiah. In the fourth Sunday — Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John the Baptist, is related assuring us that the tie between the Baptist and Jesus was real and an indicator of Jesus’ role in God’s plan for humanity.
Throughout these Gospel passages the use of passion, emotion, and expectancy is strong. Volume plays a key role – do not be afraid to express yourself in loud tones – the passages call for it explicitly! You must be several characters, too: Jesus, John the Baptist, Elizabeth and Mary. How do they sound to you in your imagination? Try to duplicate that in your proclamations.
For more information on this season read a brief article at this website: www.crivoice.org/cyadvent.html.
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