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MABLETON–St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church began sending daily email messages this week with meditations on the liturgical year. The meditations were written by Dom Prosper Guéranger, the Benedictine abbot who re-founded the Solesmes monastery in France in 1833. Dom Guéranger wrote a 15-volume series that covers the whole liturgical year with many details of the history of the celebrations and explanations of the significance of many ceremonies.

For example, he begins his chapter on the First Sunday of Advent this way:

This Sunday, the first of the ecclesiastical year, is called, in the chronicles and charts of the middle ages, Ad te levavi Sunday, from the first words of the Introit; or, Aspiciens a longe, from the first words of one of the responsories of Matins.

The Station[1] is at St. Mary Major’s. It is under the auspices of Mary—in the splendid basilica which possesses the crib of Bethlehem, and is therefore called, in ancient documents, St. Mary’s ad Præsepe—that the Roman Church recommences, each year, the sacred cycle. It would have been impossible to select a place more suitable than this for saluting the approach of the divine birth, which is to gladden heaven and earth, and manifest the sublime portent of a Virgin Mother. Let us go in spirit to this august temple, and unite in the prayers which are there being offered up: they are the very ones we also use, and which we will now explain.

The parish has undertaken the task of digitizing some of this work so that it can be read on its website by visiting https://fsspatl.com/liturgical-year, but it is also being distributed via email every day, beginning in Advent. Depending upon the speed of digitization, there could be pauses at different times of the year as more material is processed.

Those who would like to receive daily email messages during Advent and beyond can put their names on the mailing list here.