Advent with the Apocalypse (Ch 4; Dec 6)
December 06, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Revelation Ch 4 (Wednesday of the First Week of Advent)

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.

In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

“‘Holy, holy, holy

is the Lord God Almighty,’

who was, and is, and is to come.”

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they were created
    and have their being.”


The Book of Revelation is an anthology of visionary and prophetic material compiled according to the traditional pattern. It is clear that the first three chapters are set in the outer part of the temple, the great hall where the menorah stood, because the seer describes the Man amidst the seven lamps. He then hears a voice like a trumpet summoning him to a higher place to learn what must take place in the future, and the vision moves into the holy of holies ('lo! in heaven an open door’)….Once in the holy of holies, he is able to see the curtain of the holy of holies depicting the whole history of the world, past, present and future.
The worship in the temple was the counterpart of the worship in heaven; the priests were the angels and the priest-king was the LORD….The twenty-four elders with their white robes and golden crowns, seated on chariot thrones around the great throne, are probably the angel counterparts of the heads of the twenty-four courses of priests….In the vision they wear the white robes of the holy of holies, the dress of angels, and their golden crowns are a sign of their rank….The climax of Revelation describes all the servants of the Lamb in the holy of holies, worshipping before the throne and 'seeing his face' (22.4). The Lamb, by his blood, had made them all a kingdom of priests (1.6 and 5.10) and in his millennium kingdom they became judges on their thrones (20.4).


Musical Selection (Richard Mant) 

Bright the vision that delighted
once the sight of Judah's seer;
sweet the countless tongues united
to entrance the prophet's ear.

Round the Lord in glory seated,
cherubim and seraphim
filled his temple and repeated
each to each the alternate hymn:

'Lord, your glory fills the heaven,
earth is with its fulness stored;
unto you be glory given:
Holy, holy, holy Lord!'

Heaven is still with glory ringing,
earth takes up the angels' cry:
'Holy, holy, holy' singing,
'Lord of hosts, the Lord most high!'

With his seraphim before him,
with his holy church below,
thus united, we adore him,
let our glorious anthem flow: 'Lord, your glory fills the heaven,
earth is with its fulness stored;
unto you be glory given:
Holy, holy, holy Lord!'

By your holy power, Lord God,
prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ your Son,
that he may find us worthy to sit at the banquet of eternal life
and to receive from his hands the food of heaven.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.