During the last days of Advent we reflect on the meaning of the first Christmas, that Christ’s birth brought salvation to his time, to our time and to all time. From December 17-24, the O Antiphons are used in the liturgical prayers of the church. The Antiphons name the Christ who came into our world to set us free. Most of us are familiar with the hymn,“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” a hymn based on the O Antiphons. The seven traditional "O Antiphons" are actually more than a thousand years old. They have long been used as Antiphons for the "Magnificat" prayed during Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. Since the Second Vatican Council, they have also been adapted for the "Alleluia Verse" sung before the gospel at Mass. Each Antiphon invokes the coming of the Messiah, beginning with a biblical title and closing with a specific petition. As we journey through these last days of Advent may we use these Antiphons as our prayer to invite Jesus to come anew into our hearts and lives.
The O Antiphons
O Wisdom, O Holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.
O Sacred Lord of Ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.
O Flower of Jesse’s Stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples: kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.
O Key of David, O Royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of heaven: come break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.
O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of Justice: come, shine on those who dwell in the darkness and the shadow of death.
O King of the Nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the Mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.
O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people: come and set us free, Lord our God.
On the weekend of January 20/21 we will have an in-pew solicitation for the Catholic Ministries Appeal. Pledge cards will be available in the pews to allow you to make a pledge to the CMAI If you haven’t made a pledge or gift yet to this year’s appeal I ask you to do so. I realize that you all receive many request for donations this time of year and that your resources might be stretched. To make it easier to give your support to the Catholic Ministries Appeal you can make your pledge today and give your gift in installment payments through May 31of 2018.. Please consider adding your support to those who have already given to help us reach our parish goal.
God’s blessings and peace, Father Bill