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O EMMANUEL

Posted on: December 23rd, 2017

The “Great O” antiphon for December 23 is “O Emmanuel.” (See an explanation of the Great O’s in the blog post for December 16.) From Matthew 1: 18 – 23 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived […]

O KING OF THE NATIONS

Posted on: December 22nd, 2017

The “Great O” antiphon for December 22 is “O King (or Desire) of the Nations.” (See an explanation of the Great O’s in the blog post for December 16.) From Jeremiah 30: 7 – 11a Alas! that day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet […]

O MORNING STAR

Posted on: December 21st, 2017

The “Great O” antiphon for December 21 is “O Morning Star” (or “O Dayspring”). (See an explanation of the Great O’s in the blog post for December 16.) From Isaiah 60:1 – 3 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the […]

O KEY OF DAVID

Posted on: December 20th, 2017

The “Great O” antiphon for December 20 is “O Key of David.” (See an explanation of the Great O’s in the blog post for December 16.) From Isaiah 22: 20 – 23 On that day I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah, and will clothe him with your robe and bind your sash […]

O BRANCH OF JESSE

Posted on: December 19th, 2017

The “Great O” antiphon for December 19 is “O Branch of Jesse” (or O Root). (See an explanation of the Great O’s in the blog post for December 16.) From Isaiah 11: 1 – 4a A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The […]

O LORD

Posted on: December 18th, 2017

    The “Great O” antiphon for December 18 is “O Lord.” (See an explanation of the Great O’s in the blog post for December 16.) From Exodus 3: 1 – 6: Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to […]

O WISDOM

Posted on: December 17th, 2017

The Great O antiphon for December 17 is “O Wisdom.” (See an explanation of the Great O’s in the blog post for December 16.) From Ecclesiasticus 24: 3 – 9 I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and covered the earth like a mist. I dwelt in the highest heavens, and my […]

THE GREAT O’S

Posted on: December 16th, 2017

This past Sunday, on December 10, the Sisters and Companions led an Advent Lessons and Carols service based on the “Great O’s.”  The Great O’s are a series of antiphons to the Magnificat sung at Vespers each evening from December 16 to 23. They date from at least the eighth century C.E.  So powerfully do […]

Who’s Coming to Town?

Posted on: December 4th, 2017

Reading the gospel for the first Sunday of Advent (Mark 13.24-37) with its emphasis on “Beware, keep alert, stay awake!” brought to mind a secular song on that theme: You better watch out, You better not cry You better not pout, I’m telling you why Santa Claus is coming to town He’s making a list, […]

A Musical Journey of Descent and Ascent – for the Feast of St. Leo the Great

Posted on: November 28th, 2017

One of my favourite pieces of music is Smetana’s “The Moldau.” Smetana uses tones to evoke the sounds of one of Bohemia’s great rivers. He said “the composition describes the course of the Moldau, starting from the two small springs, the Cold and Warm Moldau, to the coming together of both streams into a single […]