Each year, during Advent, I find myself running for dear life to finish out the Fall semester. This Advent has been no exception - the rhythm of the academic calendar with finals and final grades due, trying to finish all the last details before unplugging for the break, and the mad dash of preparations for Christmas seems pretty distant from a season that’s centered around expectation and preparation for the coming of Jesus. All the busy activity of a Notre Dame semester suddenly comes to a screeching halt and I’m left wondering if I’m even ready for Christmas.
This year, the screeching halt came a bit earlier than usual, and it has given me a little more time to reflect on Advent. Amidst this busyness, and sometimes this darkness, there is suddenly space for peace and for light. In seeing and embracing this darkness, I can finally come to know that I need the Light. Part of the reality of the waiting and preparation in Advent means finding where, in the midst of our experience, the joy in expectation of Christ’s coming can fit in. How can this light inform and brighten the darkness of our everyday hustle?
I find hope in the work we do everyday with the Folk Choir - in the music we sing, the community we build, and the faith and hope that we share.
On this 22nd day of December, we join the Church in prayer in the middle of it’s ancient song, the “O Antiphons”, and in particular, O Rex Gentium, or O King of Nations. We hope that this music can help create a space for you in these final days of Advent to find the joy of our coming Savior in your everyday life.
Music: J.J. Wright
Text: Malcolm Guite “O Rex Gentium”
Come to us now and find in us your throne,
O King within the child within the clay,
O hidden King who shapes us in the play
Of all creation. Shape us for the day
Your coming Kingdom comes into its own.