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O Antiphons

O Emmanuel 鈥 God is with us – 23rd December 2013

  An extract from the writings of Benedict XVI.鈥楢t the heart of this mystery is the paradox that the glorious God decided to manifest Himself in the helplessness of a child who is overlooked by adult society and comes to the world in a stable.The powerlessness of a child has become the proper expression of God鈥檚 all subduing power, for the only force He employs is the silent force of truth and love.  It was in the defenceless weakness of a child that God wanted us to have our first encounter with saving mercy.  How comforting it is to see the peaceful tranquillity of God and thus to experience the security emanating from a power that in the end will be stronger than any other force and will outlast the loud triumphal cries of the world鈥.Our mother, Mary, in her generous and humble response to God鈥檚 invitation to […]

By |December 24th, 2013|Liturgy|0 Comments

O Rex Gentium – 22nd December 2013

 O King whom all the people desire,You are the cornerstonewhich makes all one:O come,and save us whom you made from clay. How do you approach a King? In our way of thinking, kings inspire awe and wonder, surrounded as they are by wealth; lacking nothing; held to be gracious when they condescend to smile at us or speak to us; so far out of reach and outside our reality as to be unapproachable, untouchable, altogether alien from the little moments that fill our days and shape our lives.  Kings have need of nothing because they have more than one … or two 鈥 or three of everything: cars, planes, palaces, lands. 鈥 Today, as we draw nearer to that day of Incarnation, without which there could never have been a Resurrection 鈥 we are reminded that Jesus […]

By |December 22nd, 2013|Liturgy|0 Comments

O Rising Sun – 21st December

“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.”In today’s antiphon we greet Christ as the “Rising Sun” and “sun of justice”; the one who comes to guide and enlighten us. This links in with Malachi’s prophecy “for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings” (Mal 4:2). This message that Christ is the one who enlightens and heals us is particularly important in the darkness of the world today – a world of seemingly unending violence and war, a world where many people can see no way out of financial problems, sickness or addictions.  In response to this Jesus himself gives us a message of hope: “I have come as light into the world that whoever believes in me will not remain in […]

By |December 21st, 2013|Liturgy|0 Comments

O Key of David – 20th December

 O 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.Today we address our awaited Messiah as 鈥楰ey of David鈥 and our antiphon paints a graphic picture of Him as a leader who unlocks prisons and leads the captives to freedom.  Our first thoughts may turn to all those who are in prisons throughout our world; those who are slaves to addictions and violence; to those areas where there is war and unjust governments 鈥 the list is endless.While keeping all these in mind I was drawn to reflect on the meaning of true freedom and what it means for each of us in our daily lives.  Freedom is a theme which is dear to human […]

By |December 20th, 2013|Liturgy|0 Comments

19th December – O Root of Jesse

O Radix Jesse, O Root of Jesse. 鈥楾here shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse鈥. On the 17th we heard  ‘O Wisdom ,you came forth from the mouth of the Most High鈥. That we can all readily believe, that is right and fitting. But that this Word of God should take flesh in Mary, should actually be of our stock, be of the stock of Jesse that is what the Church calls on us to reflect about today. Yes, Eternal Wisdom proceeds from the mouth of the Most High, but he proceeds also from the bodies of several generations of human beings. He becomes like us in every way except He is without sin. And lest we be tempted to forget that, even on Christmas Night His ancestry is recalled. Many find the solemn singing of the Genealogy tedious and […]

By |December 19th, 2013|Liturgy|0 Comments

O Adonai – 18th December 2013

 O Adonai and Leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bushand you gave him the Law on Sinai.O come and save us with your mighty power. 鈥淭he mystery of the Incarnation and the sheer wonder of the Christian proclamation of truth is that Christ shares His experience with each one of us. And he actively invites each one of us to enter into His own experience of the Father..  He invites us not just to make some sort of intellectual assent. he invites us to share, to share with his experience in all its fullness, to share and to be carried away by the infinite thrust of his energy, as He knows the Father and loves the Father, and as He, in his turn, is known and loved infinitely.And this is what we are all called to鈥 鈥 (The Way of Unknowing by  John Main)   We are invited  […]

By |December 18th, 2013|Liturgy|0 Comments

O Antiphons – Advent 2013

From the 17th to the 23rd December each evening at Vespers we sing the great ‘O Antiphons’ before and after the Magnificat.  We would like to share with readers of this blog the various reflections on these antiphons prepared by sisters:17th December            O Sapientia   –  O Wisdom  O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter,suaviterque disponens Omnia:veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High.  You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner.  O come to teach us the way of prudence.The liturgical texts from today invite me to thank God for His wonderful deeds, for the creation of the world and for the whole history of redemption, which is penetrated with His Wisdom.St Matthew in the Gospel shows us a […]

By |December 17th, 2013|Liturgy|0 Comments

“O Emmanuel …” – Reflection for 23rd December

O Emmanuel, our King and lawgiver 鈥 the nations are waiting for you their Saviour. Come and save us Lord, our God.In this final 鈥極鈥 Antiphon we reach the climax when we address our Lord as Emmanuel, a name which means 鈥淕od 鈥 is 鈥 with 鈥 us鈥. In the following quotation from St. Augustine, he expresses what 鈥淕od 鈥 with 鈥 us鈥 means for us, in a way I never could:. 鈥淔or who is Christ unless that which 鈥榠n the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God鈥? This Word of God 鈥榖ecame flesh and dwelt among us鈥: for in himself he was incapable of dying for us, unless he had assumed mortal flesh from us. In this way the immortal one was able to die, in this way he wished to give life to mortals; he would later make them […]

By |December 23rd, 2012|Liturgy|0 Comments

O King – the 22nd December

O King of the nations, and their desire, the cornerstone who makes both one.Come and save mankind whom you formed of clay.Today鈥檚 liturgy gives us two possible ways of entering into Mary鈥檚 soul. At Mass we heard her beautiful song of faith:My soul proclaims the greatness of the LordAnd my spirit exults in God my Saviour鈥 (Lk 1:46)While the O Antiphon proclaims the poverty, the emptiness, the desire and the waiting, the Magnificat manifests the fullness, fulfilment, joy and thanksgiving for salvation. The Incarnation is God鈥檚 answer to the longing of human hearts. But Augustine says: “What does it avail me that this birth is happening, if it does not happen in me?鈥濃淪o you must be silent, then God will be born in you, utter his word in you and you shall hear it; but be very sure that if you speak, the word will have to be silent. […]

By |December 22nd, 2012|Liturgy|0 Comments

O Rising Sun 鈥 21st December

O Rising Sun, you are the splendour of eternal light and the sun of justice, O come and enlighten those who sit in the darkness and in the shadow of death.Through the loving mercy of our God the Rising Sun has come to visit us.  Daily the sun rises.  All peoples everywhere, take that for granted.  Very few lie down at night wondering if the dawn will come.  In a world of few certainties and much doubt people are still confident, sure that tomorrow the sun will rise again, there will be a new day.The Word of God tells us that Christ鈥檚 coming is as certain as that dawn.  Are we in fact as certain that He is coming, as we are that in the morning the sun will rise?  Is that the kind of confident hope we give to our world 鈥 a word to cheer the hearts […]

By |December 21st, 2012|Liturgy|0 Comments