Posted by: fvbcdm | December 19, 2011

Feast of Saint Albina (16 Dec 2011)

The holy season of Advent is divided into two liturgical parts.  The first goes from the first Sunday of Advent to December 16; the second from December 17 until Christmas Eve. So this Saturday we begin our more intensive preparation for Christmas, and one of the elements of that preparation is the use of the “O” antiphons.  They are seven ancient and brief prayers that address the coming Savior by different names coming from the Old Testament and ask him to COME, since the COMING of the savior is the very essence of our Advent spirituality.

There is an old memory device used by those well-versed in the liturgy of Advent.  Either by coincidence or deliberately, the initials of the seven titles given to the coming Savior spell the  Latin words meaning “Tomorrow I will be here.”  The titles themselves are these: Wisdom of God; Leader of Israel; Root of Jesse; Key of David; Dawn of the Messiah;  King of all Nations, and then, by way of a beautiful climax, Emmanuel, which means in Hebrew, God is with us! We find these titles contained in the “O” antiphons used in the Alleluia verse just before the Gospel in the Masses on those seven days.  They are very sober, very scriptural, very brief, and very powerful in giving voice to our eagerness for the appearance of our incarnate God in our land.  Let me suggest that beginning this Saturday, we look for the O antiphon before each weekday gospel and allow that ancient prayer to dominate our thoughts as we make our way spiritually to Bethlehem and the birthplace of Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

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