O Oriens


O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae,
et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris,
et umbra mortis.

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
Come, shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death.

From the Lectionary Cycle:

Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae et sol iustitiae:
veni et illumina sedentes in tenebris et umbra mortis.

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness
and in the shadow of death!

From the Hymn:

Veni, Veni O Oriens, solare nos adveniens,
noctis depelle nebulas, dirasque mortis tenebras.

(6) O Come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death’s dark shadow put to flight.

This Evening the Church in her wisdom calls us to look to the Orient, the East, to look forward to the second coming of Christ. (Kind of fits with the whole Mayan World-ending thing don’t you think?) We gather together as a people who long to see Christ, we long for him to come, we long to see him, our Savior. We look to the East, because that is where the Dawn comes from, where the first rays of the sunlight of a new day come forth from. That is why for the longest amount of the Church’s history Mass was celebrated Ad Orientem, that is (to the East, though it became the Liturgical East in some places, because churches couldn’t always be built with the High Altar on the East side of the Church) Mass can still be celebrated this way, though many choose not to as the custom with the Novus Ordo is to celebrate Ad populum, (To the people). We await the coming of Christ from the East, we await him the dawn of a new day, he is the dawn who makes all things new. He comes to set us free of our sin and start us on the path to our redemption. He comes to restore the human race with God and open up the gates of Heaven for us through his death on the cross.

We seek the Son of Justice, who when he comes on that new dawn, that new day, he will give to each what they deserve. This is why Christ gives us the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If you haven’t made your Christmas confession yet, please GO! Now! Jesus is waiting for us to ask him for his help, to be the new day in our life, to be the new dawn of justice, the new dawn of love, the new dawn of whatever we are needing refreshed, open up your souls to him! Open up your hearts and sweep the staleness of not praying and sin out, ask for him to come and be your new day. Join with the church in welcoming him O Oriens, O Dawn, O Christ born for our salvation in a stable in Bethlehem. Come o Oriens, dawn of the new day. Come and refresh us, and make us yours, even so Lord Jesus, come and do not tarry!

Scriptural References for O Oriens:

Isaiah 9:158:860:18-20

Malachi 4:2

Luke 1:78-79

John 8:12

Revelation 22:16

Published by Father Corey D. Bruns

I'm a Priest of the Diocese of Owensboro, KY and Parochial Vicar of Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Bowling Green, KY.

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