Silence: A New Catechetical Special Topic Series #2
For two seasons of the year there is no GLORIA at the Sunday Eucharist. In Lent that absence conveys something of the penitential feel of the Great Forty Days. Not so in Advent. Refraining from the GLORIA in Advent is more like creating an absence that leads us to hunger for and appreciate more some delight that comes around only once a year, e.g., fruitcake!
This year we might reflect on (the?) GLORIA’s absence as a way of thinking about and appreciating more than ever the critical role of silence in prayer and the spiritual life.
Some very good gifts of God go wanting when, at appropriate times and places, we willingly choose to be silent. We miss chatting with friends we haven’t seen for a week or longer. Silence then can prompt a deeper gratitude for these friends whom we can encounter after Mass.
Of course, at a deeper level, the approaching Christmas season reminds us that the Word of God emerges from divine silence and returns there, especially when we set aside times and places to rest in God that we might become more attuned to that Voice that calls into life day by day.
The silence we provide before our Sunday Eucharist opens up to special seasonal preludes our music ministers prepare for us, and our liturgies end with another brief silence that opens up our hearts for songs of thankfulness and praise.