Advent with Revelation (Ch 8)
December 04, 2022
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!’ 


The opening of the seventh seal (8:1) causes a mysterious silence of “about half an hour” in heaven. Is this a silence of recollection? Of adoration? Or of foreboding and apprehension in the face of what will follow the signal to commence the world drama? At all events, it is clear that eternity is not without duration. By way of a prelude, as we have already mentioned, an angel throws to the earth the golden censer of the heavenly liturgy, filled with incense and the prayers of the saints, set alight with fire from the heavenly altar; it occasions terrifying phenomena. Previously the cry of the martyrs called for right judgment; now the prayers of the saints speed its advent, but this acceleration also increases the woes. The seven trumpet blasts that herald the end (again grouped as 4 + 3) initially have the effect of changing the atmosphere in the world. Corresponding to the censer that has been thrown down, the first four plagues are primarily characterized by fire: first, hail mixed with fire and blood; then a fiery mountain cast into the sea, which changes into blood; then a star, burning like a torch, falling upon the rivers and springs and changing them into bitterness; and, finally, there is the obscuring of all the shining lights of heaven. In each case, a third of mankind is stricken. Then comes the episode of the eagle flying through the heavens, uttering a threefold “Woe!” in anticipation of the remaining three trumpet blasts. 

Musical Selection

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)


Your kingdom is at hand,
O God of justice and peace;
you made John the Baptist its herald
to announce the coming of your Christ,
who baptises with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Give us a spirit of repentance
to make us worthy of the kingdom.
Let complacency yield to conviction,
that in our day justice will flourish
and conflict give way
to the peace you bestow in Christ.

Grant this through him whose coming is certain,
whose day draws near:
your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.