This depiction of a knight kneelingbefore an altar has always symbolized the season of Advent in my mind. There is nothing ornate about the surroundings; nothing to spur on one's faith or hope or charity. In fact, it seems rather dark and cold and lonely.
And that, perhaps, is the deceiving thing about this vigil of Advent. The Catholic faith says in the midst of the world's bustle of buying and selling that He Whose second Advent we await in wintry silence and gloom is already with us as humbly as He first came to us at Bethlehem. The humility of the Word made flesh (Jn 1,14) is fully with us in the Real Presence of the Holy Eucharist.
And so we wait in vigil and longing for His second Advent in glory - we age, we grow ill, we make merry with friends and loved ones, we perish, and another generation begins the vigil. But we are not alone and all manner of things shall be most well. Thanks be to God.
"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."