Last week, I left off at the Gloria. First of all, I want to correct a mistake. I said that we didn’t sing the Gloria during Lent, and it is actually Advent that we don’t sing it. I also didn’t expose the full richness of the entrance procession. We know that it comes from Moses walking through the camp on the way to the meeting tent, but it also represents the journey through the desert of the Israelites on their way to the promised land. They were led by a pillar of fire by night and a column of smoke by day. Thus we have candles in the procession and on solemnities—incense. We should also be reminded of the Easter Vigil procession. On the Easter Vigil (the most important Mass of the year), we actually start outside in the darkness and a fire is lit. We are reminded of the creation story and God said,”Let there be light.” We then process behind the lit Easter Candle as it goes before us.
God’s revelation throughout the Old Testament brought his chosen people into an ever closer relationship with Him and thus we enter the Church building, each one lighting his own candle.
As we gather, the whole Church is illuminated as the light of Christ in our community should be a light for the world. We think of the prophets, patriarchs, and kings of the Old Testament that served as God’s instruments gathering and holding His people together as they awaited the coming of the Messiah. (to be continued)