We live in a world where repetitive events give definition to our lives. Nature cycles include day and night, weeks, months, years and seasons. These events give a certain anchor of stability in our uncertain and changing world. As the liturgy developed, it reflected these same cycles, because the spiritual and the natural are closely intertwined.
It is helpful to think of these cycles in concentric circles, the Daily Cycle, which includes the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. The next cycle is the Weekly Cycle, which begins on Sunday. The Yearly Cycle takes us through the Liturgical Seasons — most importantly being the seasons of Advent and Christmas, Lent, and Easter. Each year we revisit the birth, passion, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and are taken deeper into our faith through this cyclical experience. The other Yearly Cycle is the cycle of Saints, whose Feast Days punctuate the Liturgical Year.
Above the rhythm of the day’s prayer there arches the greater rhythm of the day by day, month by month conformity to the given pattern. Prayer is cumulative. The repetitive rhythmic reiteration takes us up into the flow of centuries of tradition, out of the past into the present, and out of the present into the future. And with this sense of timelessness within time, we are naturally drawn into the awareness of the transcendent, into the incomprehensible no-time of God.
G. Guiver – Company of Voices