23rd December – O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, You are our king and judge, the One whom the people await and their Saviour. O come and save us, Lord our God.Today we have the 7th and last ‘O Antiphon’ – it is a cry from the heart to our Saviour to come and save us. It is also a cry of hope because we know that He will come and will save us – so we prepare our hearts to welcome His coming as we pray:Almighty God, now that the birthday of your Son as man is drawing near,we pray that your eternal Word,who took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary,and came to dwell among us,will show your unworthy people the greatness of His love and mercy,who lives and reigns with you and the Holy SpirtGod, for ever and ever.

By |December 23rd, 2009|Liturgy|0 Comments

22nd December – O King

O King whom all the peoples desire, you are the cornerstone which makes all one – O come and save man whom you made from the clayLike the other O antiphons which we have sung during the past few days this antiphon is a cry from the heart to our Saviour to come to save us.Today we address Him as King whom all peoples desire – yes we greatly desire Him because as St Augustine reminds: “He has made us for Himself and our hearts are restless until they rest in Him.”Man is described as “made from clay” reminding us of our origins in the Book of Genesis – God shaped man from the soil of the ground and blew the breath of life into his nostrils and man became a living being. In some ancient cultures the king because of his royal office was referred to as […]

By |December 20th, 2009|Liturgy|0 Comments

21st December – O Rising Sun

O Rising Sun You are the splendour of eternal light and the Sun of Justice. O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!Today the shortest day of the year when the sun reaches its lowest point in the sky (for us in the northern hemisphere at any rate!) and darkness seems to envelop us it is very appropriate that the Church puts on our lips the beautiful antiphon which cries out to our true Light to come and enlighten us.O Rising Sun You are the splendour of eternal light and the Sun of Justice. O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!However let us not forget that our true light has already come into our world in the person of Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate – as St John tells us in the […]

By |December 20th, 2009|Liturgy|0 Comments

20th December – O Key of David

Today, the fourth Sunday of Advent, we light the fouth candle on the Advent wreath – and our Readings at Mass today focus on Mary – her faith and love.1st Reading: Micah 5:1-4Psalm 792nd Reading: Heb 10:5-10Gospel: Luke 1:39-44O KEY OF DAVIDO Key of David and sceptre of Israel, what You open no one else can close again; what You close no one can open. O come to lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.Another translation of this antiphon as found in the Daily Missal reads as follows: Key of David who open the gates of the eternal kingdom, come to liberate from prison the captive who lives in darknessThe concept of keys in the Bible usually denotes power being bestowed on someone. Jesus is the One on whom “all authority in heaven and on earth is […]

By |December 20th, 2009|Liturgy|0 Comments

19th December – O Root of Jesse

O Root of Jesse, You stand as a signal for the nations; kings fall silent before You whom the peoples acclaim. O come to deliver us, and delay no longer.Like all the other ‘O Antiphons’ this one too is steeped in Old Testament imagery. (See Isaiah chapter 11 and 12). Jesse, who was David’s father and one of Jesus’ great ancestors, is mentioned in St Matthew’s genealogy. Because of infidelity to the covenant, David’s royal line is dethroned at the time of the exile to Babylon and became shrouded in oblivion but the Prophet Isaiah prophesies that from the stump or root of Jesse a new twig will spring forth – a twig that becomes a branch for all the nations. It is clear that the prophet is speaking of the Messiah.Reflecting on this antiphon and Chapter 11 and 12 of Isaiah brings us […]

By |December 19th, 2009|Liturgy|1 Comment

18th December – O Adonai

O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the burning bush and you gave him the Law on Sinai. O come and save us with your outstretched arm.This is a prayer made from a truly humble and trusting heart – one that knows its need of our heavenly Father to save us.The theme of God’s outstretched arm to help His people is found frequently in the Scriptures and must surely touch us deeply. We read in Psalm 97 “His right hand and His holy arm have brought salvation”There is something comforting in an arm outstretched towards us – we feel needed and loved which gives us an inner security.In daily life, we often see a loving mother or father stretch out their arms to save their child from some danger or simply to swoop up the child to give it a hug.When we return […]

By |December 18th, 2009|Liturgy|0 Comments

Preparing for Christmas

Although the Novena for Christmas began yesterday, according to the liturgy the immediate preparation for Christmas begins today the 17th December.The Daily Office begins with the invitatory antiphon: “The Lord is at hand: come let us adore Him” which is re-echoes in the Benedictus antiphon: “Know that the kingdom of God is at hand; be sure that he will not delay”At Vespers today and during the coming days we sing the great ‘O Antiphons’ – each antiphon begins by addressing Christ the Word Incarnate by a messianic title – remembering God’s presence and promises throughout the Old Testament the Church prays that He may come to save His people now. In our community we usually sing these antiphons in Gregorian chant as the music expresses very beautifully the prayer and cry of the human heart to its Creator.We hope to post here a short reflection on each of these […]

By |December 16th, 2009|Liturgy|0 Comments

Third Sunday of Advent

This 3rd Sunday of Advent is traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday – The Latin word ‘Gaudete’ means rejoice! On the Advent wreath the pink candle is lit – there is an air of expectancy that the Lord’s coming is near.The entrance antiphon for the Mass of this Sunday invites us: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near. 1st Reading – Zephaniah 3:14-18Responsorial Psalm: Isaias 12:2-62nd Reading Philippians 4:4-7Gospel: Luke10-18Each week we, as a community share our reflections on the Sunday Mass Readings – having spent the whole week prayerfully reflecting on them during lectio divina – here we share two reflections from this evening:Reflection 1Last week John the Baptist had “proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” – This week we meet John again in the Gospel. Today there is a feeling of expectancy in the air as […]

By |December 11th, 2009|Liturgy|0 Comments

Second Week of Advent

The readings for this Sunday are full of hope and enouragement – as we all know, we, Irish people are greatly in need of such hope in our present crises. One can almost feel that these readings were selected specially for us!!! The entrance antiphon which we sing in our community for the Mass of this Second Sunday of Advent expresses very well these sentiments of hope which God’s loving providence provides:People of Zion, the Lord will come to save all nations, and your hearts will exult to hear his majestic voice. The people of God will sing songs of joy, like songs in the night. They will have gladness of heart. People of Sion the Lord will come to save all nations and your hearts will exult to hear his majestic voice. On every high mountain streams will flow and there will be light […]

By |December 5th, 2009|Liturgy|0 Comments


Advent is one of the most beautiful seasons of the Church’s year. On this first Sunday of Advent we are united with the whole Church throughout the world in praying and longing for the coming of the Lord. We are familiar with the cry of the Prophet Isaias: O that you would tear the heavens open and come down – you are our Father – we the clay, you the potter; we are all the work of Your HandIndeed for over a week now we have seen the heavens open and torrents of rain descend on many parts of our country. Those of us who go to daily Mass have been listening to the readings describing the horrors of the end times. In addition we have been all shocked, saddened and bewildered by the revelations of scandals in our Irish Church. No doubt we carry […]

By |November 28th, 2009|Prayer|0 Comments