Ancient Antiphons for a New Year
Published by Dominican Nuns Ireland in Videos · 4 January 2019
Speaking about God and speaking with God must always go together.
The liturgy is not a secondary theme next to the preaching about the living God,
but the realization of our relationship with God’ (p. Benedict XVI)
The different times in the year- ordinary time, Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter- should feel different, different melodies, different colours, as different as the spring is from the summer, and summer from the autumn. Often the modern liturgy does not communicate this.
In our 2019 Calendar we share with you some images of a beautifully illuminated antiphonary from our archives, which was used for Vespers of the Major Feasts through the year, until the liturgy changed after Vatican II. The work of illustration was accomplished by the sisters over many years and completed in 1910.
"Liturgical celebration is a constant thread running through our days so that we might be woven in our ‘consecration to the truth, which is the Word’.
The liturgical celebration of the Hours, repeated several times a day in community, must be a time when the Word of God, and not ourselves, comes to be our centre. It is when we allow the Word to seize us, to take hold of our desire to give our life and enable this desire to do far more that we could ever do ourselves. This celebration repeated each day and in each liturgical Hour gives us the courage to expose ourselves to the Word; to listen to the words of Scripture and the prayers of the tradition; to become accustomed to the familiarity that the Word wants to have with us; to discern through the words of Scripture the face of the Son that is revealed and who is the very source of obedience. We need constantly to regain our strength, to take heart. It is in this mystery of the liturgy that we learn how to do this, or better, in the liturgy we can implore the Lord to do it in us .
Into the heart of the community gathered for and through the celebration, it is not only Christ who comes, but also the world. The celebration is in fact the moment when love for the world is nourished in fraternity. We say of Dominic that he spoke either of God or to God; speaking of people to God or of God to people. We say of him, that he never ceased to intercede for the world. The liturgical celebration of the Hours is the place par excellence where our communities bring into the presence of God our aspirations for the world to which we are sent as Preachers. We already bring these aspirations to Him by proclaiming the words of the Psalms that express man’s desires with so much insistence, his longings for salvation, and his frequent incomprehension at what makes up his story. We bring these aspirations for the world when, by singing the Psalms, we make the story of the people chosen by God our own story. To sing the liturgy hour after hour calls us to be convinced that the world is saved and heard even in the midst of its own noise. For Preachers, therefore, the world is placed hour after hour under that sign which enlivens our consecration to the Word, namely, our desire for its salvation." (from the’ Letter on the Liturgical Celebration of the Hours’, by Fr.Bruno Cadore,op Master of the Order of Preachers)
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