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Saturday, December 17, 2016

O Antiphons

Today we begin the O Antiphons. Most familiar today from the Advent hymn, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," the seven traditional "O Antiphons" are actually more than a thousand years old. They have long been used at the very end of Advent (Dec. 17-23) in the liturgical prayer of the Church, as Antiphons for the "Magnificat" sung or recited during Vespers (the Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours). Since the Second Vatican Council, they have also been adapted (slightly reworded and rearranged) for the "Alleluia Verse" of the Mass (the short scriptural text or paraphrase that immediately precedes the Gospel reading). Each Antiphon invokes the coming of the Messiah, beginning with a biblical title and closing with a specific petition.

The first is "O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge."

Each is a plea for the Savior to come!

Mother Stuart says that God in His wisdom is "disposing all things strongly and sweetly; saying to all "thus far shalt thou go and no further," therefore what folly is all human planning, anxiety, doubt. Adoration of the action of His Providence.

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