Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The O Antiphons

December 17th takes the church from Advent patience into heightened expectancy with the beginning of the O Antiphons. Each day, before the reading of the Gospel and before the Magnificat at Evening Prayer, a different antiphon is sung or said, and in this last week before Christmas, they are exalted: O Wisdom! O Key of David! O Root of Jesse! O Radiant Dawn! Today during our Word and Communion Service Sister Beth read the first O Antiphon: "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."

Heightened expectancy indeed! Today all the Seattle schools, public and private, were closed because of an expectation of snow, but no snow fell, and the temperature hovered comfortably at 38. Snow to the north of us in Everett; snow to the south of us in Tacoma; and dry streets in Seattle. My own sense of expectancy is ridiculously heightened by the near approach of December 27th, 10 days away, when I fly to El Salvador. O Wisdom, be my guide!

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