Antiphon: O Radiant Dawn

Christmas Eve – 2020


Today, God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray a prayer full of beautiful, hopeful images. Let us savor them slowly as we make our way to the waiting manger:

O Morning Star,
splendor of Light Eternal
and Sun of Righteousness:
Come and enlighten those
who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death.


O Radiant Dawn,
it is Christmas Eve.
We see the hint of your dawning
along the dark horizon
of our limitations.


How we long for You
to fracture time,
our fragile eggshell,
Eternal Love flowing
across our weary hearts.

O Dayspring,
let us see beyond the darkness,
beyond fear,
and selfish calculations,
beyond doubt, despair, hatred,
even death…
…to know that, in You,
everything is Light
for those who trust
Your Rising.


We await your
Christmas Morning
in our world.
Maranatha!  Come, Lord, Jesus!

Antiphon: O Emmanuel

December 21, 2020
Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent


Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Mercy, we pray the O Antiphon:

“O Emmanuel, God with us, come to save us.” 

The prayer itself appears a contradiction. If God is with us, why need He come? 

If we are already saved, why need we pray for salvation? 

It is because we very human beings FORGET! 

Our pleading is not for God’s sake; it is for our own – to wake us and focus us on the amazing reality that God wants to be with every one of us every moment of our lives if we will just open those moments to God. 

Think about what you have missed of God’s Presence in your life? Even just yesterday … last week … last year …your lifetime! Wow!

I know that, so often, I thought I was doing this all alone.

O, God With Me,
how blind I have been!
O Emmanuel,

open my heart to your Presence
in myself and in all Creation.

O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!

Poetry:

Music: Michael G. Hegeman

Antiphon: O Root of Jesse

December 19, 2020
Saturday of the Third Week of Advent


Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray, “O Root of Jesse’s Stem”, addressing, in this short prayer, the entire historic ancestry of Jesus. 

The phrase, taken from Isaiah 11, recognizes Jesus as the sign of deliverance for both Jews and Gentiles.

This Antiphon is unique in that
it not only beseeches the Savior to come.
It says, “Tarry not!” 
Do you ever ask God to hurry up
and answer your prayers? 

What is most urgent for you to place before God today?

Let us pray this prayer together today, dear friends, for our urgent needs and those of our needy world – especially all who suffer from the effects and fears associated with the pandemic

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


Poetry: The Coming – RS Thomas

And God held in his hand
A small globe. Look, he said.
The son looked. Far off,
As through water, he saw
A scorched land of fierce
Colour. The light burned
There; crusted buildings
Cast their shadows: a bright
Serpent, a river
Uncoiled itself, radiant
With slime.
On a bare
Hill a bare tree saddened
The sky. Many people
Held out their thin arms
To it, as though waiting
For a vanished April
To return to its crossed
Boughs. The son watched
Them. Let me go there, he said.

Music: O Root of Jesse – Michael G. Hegeman

Antiphon: O Adonai

December 18, 2020
Friday of the Third Week of Advent


Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we continue to pray the O Antiphons – beseeching the Savior to come to us. 



“O Adonai” calls on God to come lead us out of darkness. Let us pray today for all who live in any form of darkness – war, fear, poverty, exile, addiction, depression, illness, ignorance or indifference. 

Let us pray for God’s light for any of these situations in ourselves or our families … in our world.

As the year grows toward its
greatest darkness,
we seek You, Adonai,
Greatest Light! 

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



Poetry: O Adonai – Malcolm Guite

Unsayable, you chose to speak one tongue,
Unseeable, you gave yourself away,
The Adonai, the Tetragramaton
Grew by a wayside in the light of day.
O you who dared to be a tribal God,
To own a language, people and a place,
Who chose to be exploited and betrayed,
If so you might be met with face to face,
Come to us here, who would not find you there,
Who chose to know the skin and not the pith,
Who heard no more than thunder in the air,
Who marked the mere events and not the myth.
Touch the bare branches of our unbelief
And blaze again like fire in every leaf.


Music: O Adonai – Michael G. Hegeman

Antiphon: O Wisdom

December 17, 2020
Thursday of the Third Week of Advent


Today, in Mercy, we begin the recitation of the O Antiphons.

The O Antiphons are Magnificat antiphonies used at Vespers of the last seven days of Advent. They are also used as the Alleluia Verse during the daily Mass.

Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture. They are:

  • 17 December: O Sapientia (O Wisdom
  • 18 December: O Adonai (O Beautiful Lord)
  • 19 December: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
  • 20 December: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
  • 21 December: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
  • 22 December: O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)
  • 23 December: O Emmanuel (O God With Us)

We begin today
with a heartfelt plea to God
to fill our world with a Wisdom
that orders all things
and teaches us prudence.

Oh, how our world needs this prayer to be answered!  How we need to discover a Wisdom rooted in truth, justice and mutual love!

Let us pray this prayer together today, dear friends, and wrap the whisper of longing around our whole aching world:

O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!


As we begin this final week before Christmas, may each one of you feel a dawning of new grace and courage in your hearts. This will certainly be a very different, and perhaps difficult time for many. But let Wisdom teach us that there may be a new and unexpected grace even in this strange season.

Poetry:

Deep into Advent
white morning rises
out of night’s dark mystery.
It will be cold today in some corners
even of the heart.

Still, in a distant belfry
sweet bells awaken
Slowly, the western horizon
warms enough to melt stars.

It is a time of promises
dancing in and out of hope.
Once, we see Glory.
Once, we see Void.
Our stark challenge is just to hope,
no matter what we see.

Deceptively simple, it is a call
with caverns unimagined,
each one offering
its own circuitous journey
into Wisdom.

For when peaceful stillness encompassed everything and night had run half its course,
your Almighty Word leapt down from heavens throne into a doomed land.
Wisdom 18:14-15


Music: O Wisdom – Michael G. Hegeman, Performed by: The Lauda! Chamber Singers

O Radiant Dawn

December 24, 2019

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midnight

Today, in Mercy, we pray:

O Morning Star,
splendor of light eternal
and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those
who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death.

dawn

O Radiant Dawn,
it is Christmas Eve.
We see the hint of your dawning
along the dark horizon
of our limitations.

How we long for You
to fracture time,
our fragile eggshell,
Eternal Love flowing
across our weary hearts.

O Dayspring,
let us see beyond the darkness,
beyond fear,
and selfish calculations,
beyond doubt, despair, hatred,
even death…

…to know that, in You,
everything is Light
for those who trust
Your Rising.

We await your
Christmas Morning
in our world.
Maranatha!  Come, Lord, Jesus!

Music:  O Oriens – Gloriae Dei Cantores

O King of All Nations

Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

December 23, 2019

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Today, in Mercy, we pray:

O King

O King of All Nations,
Cornerstone
holding us as One,
Come, save us.

Now, so close to
your Revelation,
we ask ourselves
if it is really darkest
just before the Dawn?

Our shadow seems
to have gotten
so badly in the way
of your Generous Light.

Despite your Breath
that bids us soar
in shared and
sacred tenderness,
we stubbornly return
to selfish clay.

Rekindle us, selfless King,
on this eve of eves.

As You prepare
to hide your Godhead
in our flesh
for sake total love,
change us to Love.

May your Mercy
incarnate in our hearts
in an Eternal Christmas .

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Music: O Rex Gentium

 

O Emmanuel

Saturday of the Third Week of Advent

December 21, 2019

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O Emmanuel

Today, in Mercy, we pray:

O Emmanuel,
Who loved us so
You took our flesh,
come,
open our eyes
to see You here
ever near,
ever within us.

As Earth turns –
in so many ways –
to greatest darkness,
light the candle of
Your Indwelling
deep within our
longing hearts.

As Mary knew your
Closeness,
let us know You.

As Joseph held You
in mutuality of trust,
let us hold You and
be held by You.

Be born again
in the love that
we return to You
by loving one another
well and tenderly.

Cleave us to
Your Brilliant Light
though hidden in
life’s puzzling shadows,
God with Us,
God ever with Us!

O Emmanuel, come
be with us
on our longest nights.
Let us lean
soft into You
on our hardest days.

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Music: Winter Cold Night – John Foley, SJ
(Lyrics below)

Winter Cold Night – John Foley, SJ

Dark, dark, the winter cold night, lu-lee-ley
Hope is hard to come by, lu-lee-ley
Hard, hard, the journey tonight, lu-lee-ley.
Star, guide, hope, hide
our poor, winter cold night.

And on earth peace, good will to men.

Lean, lean, the living’ tonight, lu-lee-lay.
Star seems darker sometimes, lu-lee-lay.

Unto you is born this day a Savior.

Pain, yes, in the bornin’ tonight, lu-lee-lay.
Star, guide, hope, hide
our poor, winter cold night.

O Key of David

Friday of the Third Week of Advent

December 20, 2019

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key of david

 

Today, in Mercy, we pray:

O Key of David,

O Blessed Freedom,
Who unlocks the secret of eternal life
within our hearts!

Come absolve
the sad incarcerations
shackling us!

We hold ourselves
and one another captive
by our fears, our greed,
our terrible need
to control
Your power within us.

We are afraid of Love,
because once released in us,
Love asks for everything…

… for everything to be
unbound, unbarred
and given to Your
Unrestricted Grace,
in flesh named “Jesus”.

Love asks us to
become like You,
but we are locked
in smaller dreams.

O Key of David,
come free our dreams
with Yours.

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Music:  O Clavis David

O Root of Jesse

Thursday of the Third Week of Advent

December 19, 2019

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O Radix

Today, in Mercy, we pray:

O Root of Jesse’s Stem,
O Radical Love, who gives us,
and all Creation,
LIFE,

come deliver us from power
turned upon itself
in vanity and greed,

from the selfishness
that curls the heart
away from reverence
and generosity
toward every living being.

As You were tied,
in human flesh,
to Jesse’s generations
and so to us –

tie us to one another
by your Eternal Love,
that we may grow with You
to depths of Mercy,
to heights of Love.

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Music: O Radix Jesse