Obligation to celebrate

Veni, veni Emmanuel‘I believe in the Holy Spirit…who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified…’

This article of the creed declares our faith in the Holy Spirit and directs us to give praise to the Spirit as we do the Father and the Son. During Advent, we tend to focus (and rightly so) on the Word Incarnate; the creed reminds us that the Incarnation (like creation) is a work of the whole Trinity.

Not only does the Spirit claim our adoration as the One by whom Mary conceived the Christ child; the Spirit also makes the space in our hearts to celebrate his birth and to hope for his return. Yet Advent has become a time when we do not only prepare for the spiritual event of the Nativity. We prepare food and buy gifts, write cards and plan parties. And we do so amidst the usual circumstances of our lives, getting on with work and family obligations, and coping with the disappointment and loss that comes our way regardless of the season.

At Christmas the Lord calls us to set aside all that troubles us and give glory to the One who is ‘born the king of angels.’ We tend to think, perhaps, that the hard spiritual work we do is in Lent. But the joyous celebration of Christmas is no less an obligation than the penitence of Lent. When the day arrives and we announce the ‘Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing,’ may the Holy Spirit help us to sing with glad hearts, ‘O come, let us adore Him.’

Part of a series on the Creed by Medi Ann Volpe. For the final run-up to Christmas, we recommend: