Advent Evening of Recollection

 

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 On Saturday, December 7, 2002, the Holy Name Society at Holy Trinity (German) Church sponsored an Advent evening of recollection for the men of the parishís German and Latin congregations. Through prayer, meditation, and song, the eveningís participants were given an opportunity to take time out of their busy lives to prepare themselves spiritually for the Lordís Nativity. 

 In keeping with the liturgical seasonís emphasis on a sober yet joyful time of preparation, the eveningís program began with the recitation of the Rorate Cúli. This penitential prayer was followed by prophetic readings from the Books of Isaiah and Micah, interspersed with the singing of stanzas from the hymn, Veni, Veni, Emmanuel.  The eveningís celebrant, Rev. Fr. James Laughlin, then read St. Lukeís account of the angel Gabrielís appearance to Zechariah. In response, the participants recited the Benedictus in Latin. Similarly, after Fr. Laughlin had finished reading the story of the Visitation, the men present responded by reciting the Magnificat.

 After a brief period of reflection, Fr. Laughlin delivered a sermon on the fortieth chapter of the prophet Isaiah.  He spoke of the comfort that God brings to His people and how the Church, in carrying out Christ's mission of salvation, is also called upon to bring comfort to people.  He gave illustrations from his parish ministry and spoke of how inadequate the priest can feel in attempting to bring Christ's comfort and peace to people in the most difficult times of their lives.  In telling the story of being called upon to bring the news to an elderly woman that her husband of seventy-five years had died, Fr. Laughlin explained that, despite his own lack of words of wisdom and comfort at that moment, Christ Himself was very present to this woman through his ministry as a priest.  Father spoke of how he similarly feels unequal to the task of bringing comfort to the faithful of Boston in this time of crisis in the Church.  He commended the members of the Parish of the Holy Trinity for their great devotion to the Holy Eucharist and pointed to this as the greatest source of comfort, peace and wisdom in this time of crisis.  In receiving and adoring the Lord in the Eucharist, we are comforted not by mere human words of consolation, but by Christ himself.

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