Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator
The evening news carried a story last night that said that most Americans were grateful to see the year 2011 over and done with. Various people were quoted as saying that 2011 had been a particularly difficult year for them and that they were looking forward to a better year in 2012. There is nothing inherently wrong with such thoughts; I, too, look forward to better times and better health. It would be hard to imagine life without such hopes.
At the same time, I look back to the past twelve months as a year in which we were all given various opportunities to draw closer to God through an appreciation of all that God has done for us. As we mark the last day of the year 2011, it is incumbent upon us to recognize that God has remained close to us as promised, that "bumps in the road" are part of any year, and that, like our ancestors before us, our road through the desert is a path to the Promised Land of life with God for eternity.
The Church grants a plenary indulgence (under the usual conditions) to those who devoutly recite the "Te Deum" publically on the last day of the year. This practice recognizes the fact that while 2011 may not have been the best year of our lives, it was a blessing in many ways. As we praise God for what has been, we do so with hearts filled with hope for the future and with gratitude for the gift of God's redemptive love manifested to us through the life, ministry, passion, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus our Savior.
O God, we praise You, and acknowledge You to be the supreme Lord.
Everlasting Father, all the earth worships You.
All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to You:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Your glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles,
The wonderful company of Prophets,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise You.
Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges You:
The Father of infinite Majesty;
Your adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
O Christ, You are the King of glory!
You are the everlasting Son of the Father.
When You took it upon Yourself to deliver us,
You didst not disdain the Virgin's womb.
Having overcome the sting of death, You opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers
You sit at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that You will come to be our Judge.
We, therefore, beg You to help Your servants whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood.
Let them be numbered with Your Saints in everlasting glory.
V. Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance!
R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.
V. Every day we thank You.
R. And we praise Your Name forever, yes, forever and ever.
V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
V. Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in You.
R. O Lord, in You I have put my trust; let me never be put to shame.