Welcome to the end of time. Well, not the end of time, actually, but the end of the liturgical year, which is, liturgically speaking, a kind of prophecy of the end of time. Not the "end," but the end of time and the beginning of eternity. Funny how in the popular imagination, so much is invested in the end of the world, the end times, the Last Day, while the Advent it ushers in is ignored. And yet that is what it is all about: the Coming!
And so this evening Advent begins: the liturgy's way of looking forward to the definitive Advent: Maranatha!