Christ comes to us in history, in Mystery, and in majesty. So how shall we receive Him? Will it be with a spirit of terror, of apathy, or of joy? When we pray, in the Nicene Creed, "We look forward to the Resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come," do we mean it?
In its rush to enter "the Christmas season," the world has forgotten about the holy season of Advent. That's a pity, because if we're going to welcome Christ into our hearts this Christmas, we need to take the time to make room for Him. Here are 6 ways that you can reclaim Advent.
I interrupt the 10-part series on Campion’s arguments against the Reformation to bring you a few resources for your Advent season. This evening begins the first of what are called the “O Antiphons,” a series of short ancient prayers, traditionally prayed during Vespers. Praying and reflecting upon these prayers is a great way of preparing […]
Tonight’s O Antiphon is the last one, and it’s the most famous and probably the most beautiful. It’s “O Emmanuel.” The name Emmanuel.means “God with us,” and it’s taken from Isaiah 7:13-14, in which Isaiah says, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of […]
Tonight’s O Antiphon is “O Rex Gentium,” meaning “King of the Nations,” or “King of the Gentiles.” The idea is that the Messiah would be King, not only of the Jews, but the Gentiles as well: that is, of all nations. For example, Isaiah prophesied of the Christ (in Isa. 2:4), “He shall judge between the nations, […]
Tonight’s O Antiphon is “O Oriens.” The Latin word “Oriens” literally means “Dawn,” “Rising Sun,” or “East.” The “O Oriens” prophesy comes from Isaiah 9:1-7, Holman Hunt,Christ the Light of the World (1854) But there will be no gloom for her that was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zeb’ulun and the land of Naph’tali, […]
Tonight’s O Antiphon is “O Clavis David,” which means “O Key of David.” It’s a reference to Isaiah 22:19-23, and the rise and fall of a man named Eliakim. In this passage, God removes Shebna from his position of power as Master of the Palace, replacing him with Eliakim: Peter Paul Reubens, St. Peter (1612) I […]
Tonight’s O Antiphon is “O Radix Jesse,” which means “O Root (or Shoot, or Flower) of Jesse.” In other words, the Messiah will come from Jesse’s lineage. We hear this title for the Messiah in Isaiah 11:10: “In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his […]
Tonight’s O Antiphon is “O Adonai,” which means “O Lord,” and is one of the Divine titles used in the Old Testament. Because the name YHWH was considered too sacred to even speak, pious Jews would often replace the Name with Adonai, meaning Lord, instead. In Isaiah 33:22, the prophet Isaiah says: For the Lord is our judge,the Lord […]
Tonight’s O Antiphon is “O Sapientia,” which means “O Wisdom.” All of the first three O Antiphons are tied to the Messianic prophesy in Isaiah 11:1-5. I’ve bolded the relevant part for today’s Antiphon: Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the […]