Of O Antiphons, Passionist Nuns, and the silence of Advent…

“Everything that the church gives you to sing, every prayer that you say in and with Christ and his Mystical Body, is a cry of ardent desire for grace, for help, for the coming of the Messiah, the Redeemer.”

– Thomas Merton, The Seven Story Mountain
Passionist Nuns Monastery in Whitesville, KY

The Seven Story Mountain is definitely my favorite of Thomas Merton writings. The above quote popped up on my Facebook Memories this morning from a few years ago. I think that it highlights these final days of the Advent Season in a beautiful way.

Currently, at Mass and Evening Prayer we are hearing/singing/chanting/praying the “O Antiphons”, (See my post from a few years ago here.) today we heard O Clavis David…Key of David. These ancient titles for the Christ, the Messiah, the Redeemer connect us with our Jewish roots and with principal titles for the Messiah and what he will/has/does come to do for us.

This evening, we joined our dear Contemplative/Cloistered Passionist Nuns in Whitesville for a small social gathering, music, a very creative/funny skit, as well as to pray Evening Prayer in their beautiful chapel. The Sisters, like those of us at Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology  have the privilege of chanting the various hours of the Liturgy of the Hours in common. The Nuns used a beautiful tone for tonight’s Magnificat Antiphon:

O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel,
controlling at your will the gate of heaven:
Come, break down the prison walls of death
for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death;
and lead your captive people into freedom.

As the Nuns tend to chant in a higher register than we men (it tests my Tenor voice at times) I was struck particularly during the chanting of this Antiphon with the quote I had reread earlier in the day. As the nuns chanted higher, I envisioned that Royal Power of Israel, the one who commands death and life coming from the heights and leading us forth into freedom from our sin, from our false sense of selves, from the weight of the culture’s-lived-out idea of Advent…

“Everything that the church gives you to sing, every prayer that you say in and with Christ and his Mystical Body, is a cry of ardent desire for grace, for help, for the coming of the Messiah, the Redeemer.”

– Thomas Merton, The Seven Story Mountain

To me this evening, that antiphon spoke light into the semi-dark corners of my spiritual life and helped me to see just a little bit more clearly how much more I needed Christ in my life. How I needed the Key of David to come and unlock the chains that still bind me, how I needed the Key of David to lead me into a deeper sense and lived experience of freedom.

As we have come to the end of the school semester and my mind has been bogged down for the past few weeks with finals, papers, and readings, Advent hasn’t been all that “peaceful.” Tonight, that changed. Tonight I entered a bit deeper into that peace, that quiet waiting with joy, hope, and expectation for the coming of the Messiah, our Redeemer. Tonight, in my heart, in my soul, I was able to cry out in song, chant…for grace…for help…for the coming of Emmanuel…God with us.

May you have the opportunity to sit a while, rest in the silence, the peace, the quiet waiting of these coming days so that we might join the Angels, Singing in Exultation as Christ comes not only in the manger of Bethlehem, but into the mangers of our hearts. May we make him room!

St. Stephen and the “Bloody Octave of Christmas”

St.  Stephen: protomartyr, deacon, and patron of the Diocese of Owensboro

St. Stephen: protomartyr, deacon, and patron of the Diocese of Owensboro. This image hangs in the back of the Cathedral, near the baptismal font.

A blessed feast of St. Stephen to you all! St. Stephen is the patron saint of the Cathedral and Diocese of Owensboro, KY. He was the first martyr of the early Christian church, and was also a deacon. His death (by stoning) is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, having been witnessed by Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul). Stephen’s name is derived from the greek Stephanos, meaning “crown”. Traditionally, Stephen is invested with a crown of martyrdom; he is often depicted in art with three stones and the martyr’s palm. (In our Cathedral image, though he is just shown wearing a dalmatic (the vestment of the deacon in the Mass.) I keep a small statue of St. Stephen on my nightstand at the seminary, reminding me to ask for his intercession and to pray for the people in the diocese who are praying for me.

Our Cathedral was restored as part of the Diocesan celebrations for our 75th anniversary. Sam and I who were the only college seminarians for the diocese at Bishop Bruté, were able to take part in the historic, Solemn dedication of the renovated cathedral. You can see pictures from the day, by visiting my old Flickr profile, which is the last link on my photos page.

St .Stephen Cathedral in all of it's glory!

St .Stephen Cathedral in all of it’s glory! AP Imagery: photographer. Find his (Adam Paris) work on Flickr.com

https://flic.kr/p/9r2m8Q (To find photo, search “St. Stephen Cathedral” on Flickr.com)

 

The Cathedral renovation was done by the Talleres Art de Granda studio out of Spain. The work they do is absolutely beautiful, and it really showed with our Cathedral. Part of the renovation project included a new Allen 3-manual organ. We already have a Wicks Pipe Organ in the Choir Loft of the cathedral, so having two organs, both of which are magnificent instruments, really makes an organ nerd(and novice) like me happy!

The "former" cathedral decor. Notice the sound tile in the Choir Loft and the very pale, non vibrant color scheme. It fit it's time, but the new decor fits even better!

The “former” cathedral decor. Notice the sound tile in the Choir Loft and the very pale, non vibrant color scheme. It fit it’s time, but the new decor fits even better! (Wicks Pipe organ casing in the Choir Loft.)

3-manual Allen organ, that was installed in the Cathedral. Notice, the change in color schemes and the organ pipe casing in the choir loft. (There's another organ up there!)

3-manual Allen organ, that was installed in the Cathedral. Notice, the change in color schemes and the organ pipe casing in the choir loft. (There’s another organ up there!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cathedral renovation included a reredos, containing three sculptures of the life of St. Stephen. It is a beautiful piece!

The Sanctuary of St. Stephen Cathedral, notice the gold leafing on the Altar, Reredos, etc. Truly a work of art, fitting for God!

The Sanctuary of St. Stephen Cathedral, notice the gold leafing on the Altar, Reredos, etc. Truly a work of art, fitting for God!

So, the next time you are in Owensboro, I encourage you to stop by and visit our lovely cathedral. It will be well worth your time and I am positive that you will enjoy your time with our Lord!

The main entrance to the Cathedral.

The main entrance to the Cathedral.

 

The historic octave of Christmas is one of my favorites. (Yes, in the modern Roman Calendar, there are only two octaves (Easter & Christmas), but the octave of Christmas is one of great rejoicing, in a different sense. Monsignor Charles Pope, of the Archdiocese of Washington wrote a beautiful meditation on what he calls the Bloody Octave. What is the Bloody Octave? Monsignor Pope states: “It is one of the bloodiest weeks of the Church’s years. Thus, on December 26th, when we have hardly digested our Christmas dinner, we celebrate the Feast of St. Stephen, the Martyr who was stoned to death. On December 28th we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the young and infant boys who were murdered by Herod seeking to kill Christ. On December 29th we celebrate the feast of St. Thomas Becket who was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral. (I’m planning on watching the great film Becket 1964, starring Richard Burton & Peter O’Toole. You can watch the whole movie free on Youtube here.Even St. (King) Wenceslaus of whom we happily sing “on the Feast of Stephen” was brutally killed by his brother.” 

So, we have a week of blood, a week of remembrance of those who gave their lives for the faith. (Remember Pope Benedict  wearing red shoes? It was a tradition in the church of showing the blood of the martyrs, which he (the pope) would be willing to accept in a moment for the sake of Christ. (JPII and Pope Francis are the first pope in hundreds of years not to wear the shoes))

Christ was born, as a sacrifice, he came to bring peace, through the offering of his life. “He who knew no sin, was made sin for us…” -2 Corinthians 5:12. Christ came to die, he was born into a world, so that he could give his life for it. Christ was born into the wood of the crib, only to be killed on the wood of the cross. This “bloody octave” teaches us that our faith is not that requires no effort, rather it is one that requires a total gift of self like the martyrs. Maybe we aren’t called to be killed physically for Christ, but we are called every day to pick up our cross, face the challenges of life, battle sin and temptation, and work toward our goal of Heaven. May these blessed “bloody” martyrs help us ever in our path toward Heaven as we continue on this Christmas Season, proclaiming: Glory to god in the Highest, and on earth peace to men of good will…

I hope that you and your families have a blessed Christmas Season! Remember, it’s not over until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord if you follow the Novus Ordo Mass, and then not until February 2nd (The Purification of Mary, Candlemas) in the Extraordinary form. Also, this Friday ranks as a solemnity (it falls in the Octave of Christmas) so go ahead and eat meat, enjoy a piece of cake, Christ the savior is born and we are celebrating!

Merry Christmas!

 

St. Stephen, martyr, deacon, and patron of the Diocese of Owensboro, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

O Rex Gentium!

O-King-300x248

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:
Come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.

From the Lectionary Cycle:

Rex gentium et lapis angularis Ecclesiae:
veni et salva hominem quem de limo formasti.

O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!

From the Hymn:

Veni, Veni, Rex Gentium, Veni, Redemptor omnium,
ut salvas tuos famulos peccati sibi conscios.

O Come, Desire of the nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid every strife and quarrel cease
and fill the world with heaven’s peace.

Today the Church calls to mind O Rex Gentium, that is O King of the Gentiles. If you look at the other meanings for the word Gens, or gentis which is where Gentium comes from, it can also mean people, nation, or a tribe. When we call to mind Christ as King today, we can remember that upon his birth the wise men from the East, were questioned by Herod as to where this “King’ would be born, because he was scared of him. So Herod went out and had all of the newborn male children killed. Joseph having a dream of an angel, took Mary and Jesus and fled with them to Egypt, so that Jesus would be safe. This is called the Feast of the Holy Innocents and was an example of why we call Joseph, “The Family Protector”.

We call Christ, King, because he is not only our ruler, but also our creator. We ask him to come and re-make us. To cast away our sin and put us back on the wheel to make us into what he desires. We ask Christ to make us like him. As Augustine once said: “Our Hearts were made for thee Oh Lord, and they are restless until they rest in thee. This evening we call upon our King to refashion our hearts like unto his. We call upon our maker to make us his, to set us free from our slavery to sin, we ask him to come, O Great King of the Gentiles, Great King of the Nations, Great King of Israel, O Rex Gentium, come quickly and do not tarry!!

Scriptural References for O Rex Gentium:

Isaiah 2:411:10

Psalm 47:8; Jeremiah 10:7

Daniel 7:14;

Haggai 2:8

Romans 15:12

Ephesians 2:1420

 

O Oriens!

O-Dawn-300x241

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

The O Antiphons

Have you been rejoicing? Last Sunday was Gaudete Sunday, which literally is a command to rejoice! We rejoice because our Lord’s coming is so near. The Church in her great wisdom…hint, hint; leaves us with symbols to help us stay aware of what is happening at the moment in the Liturgical Cycle.

One of those such symbols is the “O Antiphons” which the Church leaves her Ministers, religious, and anyone else who prays the Divine Office with. She has also reworded and rearranged them so that they may be used for the Alleluia Verse during the Mass before the reading of the Gospel. These Antiphons are thousands of years old, though they are most familiar to us, because of the traditional Advent Hymn: O Come, O Come Emmanuel. In the traditional arrangement of the Antiphons in Latin, when viewed from Christmas Eve backward, the first letters of the Latin texts (Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia) spell out the phrase ero cras or (“I come tomorrow”). This Season is a wonderful time for us as a people of God to Rejoice in the coming of the Lord, and make straight the way for his path.

The Antiphons are each a name for the Messiah, found in the book of Isaiah, the prophet. And they are recited/prayed from December 17-23. (One week before Christmas.)

Get up, go to confession! Prepare your soul to receive him on Christmas! Are you ready? Rejoice for his coming is near! Stand up, prepare yourself and your household for; ERO CRAS -“I come tomorrow!”

Antiphon for the Magnificat during
Evening Prayer, Liturgy of the Hours
Alleluia Verse, 
Lectionary for Mass
 (#201)
Latin & English Lyrics,
Traditional Hymn
Biblical
Texts
Dec. 17:
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.
Dec. 17:
Sapientia Altissimi, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
Veni, O Sapientia, quae hic disponis omnia,
Veni, viam prudentiae ut doceas et gloriae.
(2) O Come, Thou Wisdom, from on high,
and order all things far and nigh;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.
Wisdom 8:1Isaiah 11:2-328:29Proverbs 8:1-36John 1:1-5
Dec. 18:
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.
Dec. 18:
Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in bracchio extento.
O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!
Veni, Veni, Adonai, qui populo in Sinai
legem dedisti vertice in maiestate gloriae.
(3) O Come, O Come, Thou Lord of might,
who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times didst give the law,
in cloud, and majesty, and awe.
Exodus 3:2Isaiah 33:22; 63:11-12Micah 6:4Acts 7:30-31
Dec. 19:
O Radix Jesse
, qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.
O Flower of Jesse’s stem,
you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples;
kings stand silent in your presence;
the nations bow down in worship before you.
Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.
Dec. 19:
Radix Iesse, stans in signum populorum:
veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardare.
O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!
Veni, O Iesse virgula, ex hostis tuos ungula,
de spectu tuos tartari educ et antro barathri.
(4) O Come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s stem,
from ev’ry foe deliver them
that trust Thy mighty power to save,
and give them vict’ry o’er the grave.
Isaiah 11:110Isaiah 52:15Romans 15:12
Dec. 20:
O Clavis David
, et sceptrum domus Israel,
qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperuit:
veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel,
controlling at your will the gate of heaven:
Come, break down the prison walls of death
for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death;
and lead your captive people into freedom.
Dec. 20:
Clavis David, qui aperis portas aeterni Regni:
veni et educ vinctum de domo carceris sedentem in tenebris.
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
Veni, Clavis Davidica, regna reclude caelica,
fac iter tutum superum, et claude vias inferum.
(5) O Come, Thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heav’nly home,
make safe the way that leads on high,
that we no more have cause to sigh.
Revelation 3:7Isaiah 22:22Jeremiah 13:13; 51:19Matthew 4:16; 16:19

Luke 1:79

Dec. 21:
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.
Dec. 24, Morning Mass:
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!
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.
Isaiah 9:1; 58:8; 60:18-20Malachi 4:2Luke 1:78-79John 8:12

Revelation 22:16

Dec. 22:
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:
Come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.
Dec. 22 & 23:
Rex gentium et lapis angularis Ecclesiae:
veni et salva hominem quem de limo formasti.
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
Veni, Veni, Rex Gentium, Veni, Redemptor omnium,
ut salvas tuos famulos peccati sibi conscios.
(7) O Come, Desire of the nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid every strife and quarrel cease
and fill the world with heaven’s peace.
Isaiah 2:4; 11:10Psalm 47:8; Jeremiah 10:7Daniel 7:14; Haggai 2:8Romans 15:12

Ephesians 2:14, 20

Dec. 23:
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.
Dec. 21:
Emmanuel, rex et legifer noster:
veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.
O Emmanuel, our King, and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!
Veni, Veni, Emmanuel captivum solve Israel,
qui gemit in exsilio, privatus Dei Filio.
(1) O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Isaiah 7:14Matthew 1:231 Timothy 4:9
. . Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!
Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel nascetur pro te Israel!
Psalm 14:7Phil 4:4

Blogroll

Well here are a few posts on some blogs and websites that I follow that I found interesting. Maybe you will also.

White House petitioned to ‘label’ Catholic Church as a hate group

Feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton – on her relationship with Bishop Simon Bruté.

Fr. Tom Widner SJ on Seminarians being Liberal/Conservative, but really just being open to God and seeking Holiness.

Requiem Mass to be offered on Jan 25th for Nellie Gray at St. Mary Mother of God Church in Washington DC.

Bp. Paprocki on Illinois’ absurd “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act”

Because I am not a Protestant: On Liturgical Abuses

Ordain a Lady Music Video (Demonstrates exactly why it is forbidden.) (go ahead take your prozac and laugh, it’ll help!)

We Three Kings – Music video

Hopefully I can post some more of my favorite posts as time goes along.

Musings from the Castle on the Hill

castleonthehill.jpg

So, when I first created this site, it was firstly to advertise for some of the services that I offered on the side of working at Dairy Queen, hence the Bruns Design Studios page, but after joining Seminary, I wanted a place where I could blog about things that interested me, and about life as a college Seminarian. The first thing I knew I needed was a name for my blog, well here I am 7 months after starting my blog portion of this site and I finally chose a name. I had started with a temporary name of “Non Ministrari, sed ministrare”, now after thinking about it long enough, I decided on a more permanent name: “Musings from the Castle on the Hill”.

Why did I choose this name? Well, firstly my Seminary is literally a Castle, secondly the term: “Castle on the Hill” comes from a name that the Carmelite Monastery that is now our seminary was called. I am fascinated with history, especially Catholic building history. So it is no surprise that one of the things I looked for first at Marian University’s Mother Theresa Hackelmeir(sp) Library was books on the history of our Carmel. Well I did find some very neat books, and one of my goals next semester is to post some of the things from in them here.

Part of the original plan for the Carmelite Monastery of the Resurrection was to have it built up on a hill, overlooking the road. Well in present-day Indianapolis, that dream was short-lived, as the Castle is not the far above the ground level, because of the level they made the roads, but I like the name and it still stuck for many years of the Monastery. My hope is that through this blog, I will be able to make posts that capture a little bit of what Mother Theresa Seelbach, the founding carmelite nun, dreamt of for her monastery. Until then, have a blessed Christmas Eve! Come, O Come Emmanuel!

O Adonai

Image

From the Breviary:

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.

From the Lectionary Cycle:

Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in bracchio extento.

O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!

From the Hymn:

Veni, Veni, Adonai, qui populo in Sinai
legem dedisti vertice in maiestate gloriae.

O Come, O Come, Thou Lord of might,
who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times didst give the law,
in cloud, and majesty, and awe.

 

This Evening the Antiphon for the Magnificat is O Adonai… The term adonai is the word that the Jewish People called God, he was their adonai, Sacred Lord, Master of All, their Majesty. They so reverenced the name of God that one has to wonder why we do not any more? They were scared that if they mentioned the name of God they would use it unworthily, that they would be profaning his sacred name. And now when we go out of our homes we hear his name used for anything and everything, we hear that his last name is Da*nit, We hear his son’s name used when someone scares someone, when someone slams their finger in the door “JESUS CHRIST!” or just Christ. At what point did we begin to have such disregard for the Lord’s name? Let us take today as a chance to go back to our respect of his name, let us join with our Jewish brethren in exclaiming O Majesty! O Sacred Lord! O Master of All! O Adonai!

The Church remembers today: the giving of the law to Moses, the law that we are born with written on our hearts, and the power of God to deliver us from slavery to Satan.

Scripture References to O Adonai:

Exodus 3:2

Isaiah 33:22; 63:11-12

Micah 6:4

Acts 7:30-31

Gaudete, Gaudete! Iterum dico vobis, Gaudete!

Rejoice, Rejoice! Again I say to you, Rejoice! is the translation of the above Latin title for this post. 

Today is the third Sunday of Advent, otherwise known as Gaudete Sunday. (“You need to Rejoice” Sunday) The church’s ministers don themselves in Rose colored Vestments today as a sign that this penitential season of Advent is almost over. The only other time Rose is worn is on Laetare Sunday during Lent. The purpose behind this color, and it being used so infrequently is to draw our attention to wait a moment!  It is almost time! It’s almost here! Am I ready?

Hopefully today you are rejoicing that the coming of our Lord is less than 10 days away. Are you ready for his coming? Have you gone to confession so that you are worthy to receive him on Christmas morning? Have you been keeping up with your prayers? Praying and meditating on the mystery of the Incarnation? If not, that’s what today is for! To tell us to get up, get ready, be prepared for the coming of our Lord. CHRISTmas is coming! Jesus is coming! Get ready! Rejoice! Our Rector at Bruté, Father Bob tells the story of a professor of his, upon hearing 2 Dominicans discuss the Mystery of the Hypostatic Union “Christ being both Fully Divine and Fully Man” said to them in a Jersey accent: “You wanna know about the Hypostatic Union? Well I’ll tell ya! It’s a Mystery! Go Home!”

Did you see Rose vestments today? I did!

We rejoice today that our Lord is coming. Veni, Veni Emmanuel! Come Lord and do not delay! Have a blessed “wake-up” call Sunday and remainder of Advent!

Gaudete, Gaudete! Iterum dico vobis, Gaudete!!!

 

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