Q: I have an interesting question.
When, on the Third Sunday of Advent, the Roman Missal says Preface I or Preface II of Advent is it used is the Roman Missal indicating that there is always a choice on the Third Sunday of Advent for Preface II to be used (because of the relation to John the Baptist), or is the Roman Missal rubric presuming that Preface I is used before or including December 16 and if it is December 17 or later, Preface II is used?
Thank you for your kindness.
A: It’s referring to the years when the Third Sunday of Advent falls on December 17 or 18. That second preface is restricted to the octave before Christmas.
Holding off on the second preface in Advent is a little like waiting to open gifts that arrive before Christmas. It heightens the anticipation of the season.