This is the last O Antiphon before Christmas, O Emmanuel, no translation here… simply, O Emmanuel, which we know means, “God with us.”
O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
expectratio gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos,
Domines, Deus noster.
O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver,
desire of the nations, Savior of all people:
Come and set us free, Lord our God.
Yes, our Savior comes – He comes to set us free! Have a blessed and beautiful Christmas, one and all!
Today our O Antiphon is O Rex Gentium, or O, King of All The Nations! Jesus the Christ leads us all, he is our Lord and King!
O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.
O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart;
O Keystone of the mighty arch of man:
Today is the second day of the O Antiphons. If you did not read yesterday’s post, I am going to post one O Antiphon for the 7 days on which they are used as the antiphon for the Magnificat at Vespers. The antiphons are different names for the Messiah and today’s is O Adonai.
I am late in assembling this post and gratefully so because of something I found this morning. Adonai, which also means Lord, has some other meanings as well. This is one of my own personal challenges with more literal translations of things in general. (No, I am not complaining about the New Roman Missal, but offering my own perspective about the challenge of translation!) Words have cultural values as well and their meanings are often expressed through the context of the time in which they are used.
Which is why I was interested to read this at the CSJ Prayer Online Advent Calendar, which is written by Baya Clare, CSJ. Baya is in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, but has ties back to our local Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet community in Latham. Baya and our own Sister Rose know each other and this reminds me of the beauty of community.
Baya writes about how the term Adonai also refers to the “bread keeper,” indicating that this “bread keepers'” followers would be fed. And our Lord Jesus comes to us as bread and as our keeper, He certainly does keep us fed.
O Adonai, et dux domus Israel,
qui Moyse in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.
O Sacred Lord of ancient Israel,
who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush,
who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain:
Come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.
It is December 17 and the O Antiphons are upon us. These antiphons are used, beginning on December 17 and for 7 days, during Vespers. They are sung immediately preceding the Magnificat. During these 7 days, I will post a video for each antiphon.
The antiphons bring us closer to the incarnational event that is Christmas. Make no mistake, we are still in Advent, but our journey to the birth of Christ comes closer and closer. The O Antiphons are each named with the prophecy of Isaiah as a backdrop and each one calls out a name for the messiah.
O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter,
suaviter disponensque omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.
O Wisdom, O holy Word of God,
you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care:
Come and show your people the way to salvation.
It is Gaudete Sunday – so let us celebrate by hearing this song!
This reflection is for today’s feast of St. Juan Diego.
I, the LORD, your God,
teach you what is for your good,
and lead you on the way you should go.
Roses In December
by Doreen Salse
Brown and cracked feet blending with the dust beneath them
Move hesitantly in the December moonlight.
The man they carry, creased with the signs of age,
Makes his way silently along an unfamiliar path.
He tries to avoid the unyielding tips of the maguey plant
And the even sharper insistence of his own destiny.
Perhaps if he goes by another way he will not meet her again,
This Queen who entrusted him with her message of peace on Tepeyac Hill.
How can he repeat her words when his lips are not accustomed to beauty?
He knows only things of this world: what he can see and touch,
And the certain cycles of living and dying.
Patiently and eternally, the Lady awaits her reluctant champion at the end of his journey.
A journey that was after all, never of his own choosing.
“Am I not here, I who am your mother?”, she reminds him.
As he carries her banner into his gentle battle, and unfurls it at her victory.
Walking alongside you Juan Diego, I too am cold, old and shivering
In the darkness of my own creation.
I am afraid to open my arms as you finally did, to let go of what I know
And to embrace the impossible reality of roses in December.
Doreen Salse is a parishioner at St. Edward the Confessor, where she is also a lector.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel – the watching and waiting of Advent. We are invited to be quiet and to prepare room for the Lord.