Advent with Revelation (Ch. 8)
December 05, 2021
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.



Chapter 8 (Second Sunday of Advent)

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

Another angel with a golden censer came and stood at the altar; he was given a great quantity of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that is before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets made ready to blow them.

The first angel blew his trumpet, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were hurled to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many died from the water, because it was made bitter.

The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light was darkened; a third of the day was kept from shining, and likewise the night.

Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew in mid-heaven, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!’


We read of seven trumpets in the Revelation of John, which seven angels received. And there you read that when the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, there was a great voice from heaven, saying: “The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever.” The word trumpet is also used for a voice, as you read: “Behold a door opened in heaven, and the first voice which I heard, as of a trumpet speaking with me and saying, Come up hither, and I will show thee the things which must come to pass.” We read also: “Blow up the trumpet at the beginning of the month [the new moon]”; and again elsewhere: “Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet.” .... For when we read that our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual hosts of wickedness, which are in high places, we ought not to think of weapons of the flesh, but of such as are mighty before God. It is not enough that one see the trumpet or hear its sound, unless one understands the signification of the sound. For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, how shall one prepare himself for war? Wherefore it is important that we understand the meaning of the voice of the trumpet, lest we seem barbarians, when we either hear or utter trumpet-sounds of this sort. And therefore when we speak, let us pray that the Holy Spirit would interpret them to us. (St. Ambrose of Milan)

Just as smoke comes out of burned spices, so is the virtue of devotion produced by zeal for prayer. However, in order for the incense to become pleasing to God, it is given to the angel, which means that the zeal of prayers is entrusted to our Redeemer. The body is totally unable to speak to God but by the agency of the Head. The fact that the incense is offered on the golden altar shows that the sacrifice of prayers is accepted by him nowhere else but in the body of Christ, all of which shines with the wisdom of the divine Word. Note also that the throne and the altar before the throne do not signify two Churches, but one, just like Noah's ark and the eight souls in it.(Alcuin of York)

The glory of the Church, which shines like a star, is often obscured through false brethren, who, either in the prosperity or adversity of the age, cause it to shine less brightly by their defection. (St. Bede the Venerable)

Musical Selections


Stetit Angelus iuxta aram templi, habens thuríbulum áureum in manu sua, et data sunt ei incénsa multa:
* Et ascéndit fumus arómatum de manu Angeli in conspéctu Dei, alleluia.

An Angel stood at the Altar of the temple, having a golden censer in his hand and there was given unto him much incense; * And the smoke of the incense ascended up before the Lord, out of the Angel's hand, alleluia.

And I saw seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sing! And the first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire; they were cast upon the earth, and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.And the second angel sounded, and there was a great mountain burning with fire cast into the sea, which then became blood, and the creatures that were in the sea died. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star, burning as it were a lamp, and made the water bitter, and the sun was smitten, and the moon and the stars were darkened, and woe is past. The fifth angel sounded, and the sixth angel sounded, and behold woe is past away. The kingdoms are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ. And he shall reign for ever and ever, O Lord our God.


Sacred silence, holy ocean
Gentle water, washing over me
Help me listen, Holy Spirit
Come and speak to me

Sacred silence, holy ocean
Gentle water, washing over me
Help me listen, Holy Spirit
Come and speak to me

God my father, Christ my brother
Holy Spirit, sanctifying me
But Lord, have mercy and please forgive me
Come and set me free

Sacred stillness, deep still waters
Calm the raging storms within my soul
And clear the waters of confusion
At pure and peaceful waters flow

Sacred silence, holy ocean
Gentle water, washing over me
Help me listen, Holy Spirit
Come and speak to me
Come and speak to me
Come and speak to me (John Michael Talbot)


Almighty and merciful God,
may no earthly undertaking hinder those
who set out in haste to meet your Son,
but may our learning of heavenly wisdom
gain us admittance to his company.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and everAmen.