The presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the liturgy of Advent is like the fragrance of roses in December. Mary is everywhere, drawing us after her into the mystery of Christ. The monastic tradition signifies her presence by singing the Missus Est Angelus, a Solemn Responsory at First Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent: “The Angel Gabriel was sent to Mary.” The Alma Redemptoris Mater invites us every evening to look to Mary even as, falling in our weakness, we seek to rise again through grace. December 8th shone for us with the brightness of the Immaculate Conception of Mary full of grace. On the 9th Saint Juan Diego called us to the contemplation of Mary in poverty of spirit. On December 12th, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Mother of our Lord visits us again and we, like Elizabeth, are filled with wonder.
On December 20th, we will celebrate Advent’s Golden Mass and hear again the solemn singing of the Missus Est, the Gospel of the Annunciation. Finally, on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, the Virgin Mary will emerge from the sacred texts