Advent is the first volume of The Liturgical Year.
This monumental liturgical work, comprising fifteen volumes, was the life-long labor of Benedictine Abbot Dom Guéranger. Written with the heart of a seraphic contemplative, the holy abbot takes the reader on a daily spiritual pilgrimage through the liturgies of both the East and the West as he immerses the soul into the very life of the ecclesia orans et adorans (the church praying and adoring). The author achieves this by providing daily entries corresponding to the yearly cycle of the Church’s worship in both her divine seasonal feasts and those of her saints. Each day begins with a rich and provocative meditation on the mystery of faith to be celebrated together with the ecclesial history of the same; this is followed by excerpts from the Roman Missal’s Mass of the day (complete with Propers, i.e., Introits, Collects, Offertory prayers, etc ) as well a host of exquisite hymns from the divine office which are coupled with varied and sundry sequences garnered from other ancient Catholic rites.
The temporal and geographical universality of the Church is thusly honored; and the oneness of faith amply manifested in light of the axiomatic criterion: Lex orandi est lex credendi (the law of praying is the law of believing). If the essence of the Holy Mass is God, the Incarnate Victim, offering Himself to God, then the liturgy of the Mass is man, in union with Jesus Christ (per ipsum, et cum ipso, et in ipso), offering God to God. Truly, here is a priceless treasure awaiting your holy exploitation. Such was the strategy employed by the father of Saint Therese of Lisieux who made it a daily routine in the Martin home to read to his five daughters from these very volumes.