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O Antiphons – O Emmanuel!

This is the last O Antiphon before Christmas, O Emmanuel, no translation here… simply, O Emmanuel, which we know means, “God with us.”

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.

Yes, our Savior comes – He comes to set us free!  Have a blessed and beautiful Christmas, one and all!

Yes, Maggie, There Is A Santa Claus – A Guest Post by Katie Andersen (updated)

Yes, Maggie, There Is a Santa Claus –  By Katie Andersen

When it comes to Santa Claus, Christmas is not easy on any parent. We go out of our way to conceal the reality from our little ones, encouraging good behavior with tactics like the “Elf on a Shelf” and half bitten cookies on a platter. It’s all fun and games until they decide to question the whole thing. As a parent of an original unbeliever, I’ve learned that the coming of the Christ and the story of Santa Claus are not necessarily opposed to one another, and that there is a catechetical lesson in the midst of it all.
“Santa is not real. He is fake. He is a decoration on the tree. Come here; I’ll show you.”

Two years ago, after asking our two-and-a-half-year-old what she’d like Santa to bring her for Christmas, Erik and I were met with this unexpected response. Maggie grasped our fingers tightly, dragged us to the Christmas tree, took a deep breath, and pointed out the silliness of our inquiry: “You see?”

We were unable to pinpoint an instance where this sort of realization could have been learned, so we simply shrugged it off to Maggie’s precocious, literal nature, and went on to enjoy taking full credit for her presents that year.

The following year, Continue reading

O Antiphons – O Rex Gentium

Today our O Antiphon is O Rex Gentium, or O, King of All The Nations! Jesus the Christ leads us all, he is our Lord and King!

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:

An Advent Reflection

At my home parish of St. Edward the Confessor, we have a beautiful tradition of offering evening prayer on Tuesdays during Advent and Lent. I was privileged to offer the reflection last night.

It was a true gift to see people from Immaculate Conception present and I am grateful beyond measure! Thank you for your presence!

Typically the reflection is offered based on the Gospel or one of the other readings for that particular day. The spirit moved me to reflect on the Gospel, which was Luke 1:26-38. Typically the reflection gets posted at the Parish Blog of St. Edward, and I am also posting it here.


Here at St. Edward the Confessor we have a beautiful practice during Advent and Lent – Evening Prayer on Tuesday evenings at 7 PM. While we have thought about doing this outside of the liturgical seasons mentioned, we have not done so. And there is something special about bracketing these times when we are called to a particular kind of attention.

Last night I was privileged to once again offer the reflection and I am reprinting the text of my reflection here. Please note, if you were present, I do read from the script, but I do deviate from it as well. Thus – this may be slightly different than what you heard!

Thank you to everyone who has attended evening prayer so faithfully! Thank you to everyone who has come just once! Thank you everyone – presider, helpers, music ministers and other reflectors, for another beautiful season of prayer.

Are You Ready? A Reflection on the Gospel According to Luke, 1:26-38.

The question is everywhere… I am asked it and although I say that I am not going to ask it, I do… You know, you have said it yourself – I’m pretty sure you have either asked or been asked this at least once this week…

After all, we have this nice long Advent, the one in which that last purple taper gets to burn down a bit, just like the others, thanks to the fourth Sunday being followed by 6 entire days. More time to – get ready. Whatever ready means! Continue reading

O Antiphons – O Oriens

Our antiphon for today is O Oriens, or O Radiant Dawn. I love this imagery of Jesus, bringing light to what was once dark.


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.

O Antiphons – O Clavis David

Today we have the name for the Messiah, O Clavis David – or Key of David. Yes, from the Root of Jesse came David and ultimately Jesus. Now we go further, the Key of David which will open the doors of the Kingdom to set us free.

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.

Monday Bonus Post – A Short Reflection on the O Antiphons by Michele Francl-Donnay

Michelle Francl-Donnay is a friend that I have only met through blogs and Facebook. She authors a beautiful blog entitled Quantum Theology. Michelle is a chemistry professor, a cantor at her Catholic parish and the author of a regular column published in the Catholic Standard of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. She is a prolific writer actually and you might catch her work in any number of places.

Michelle podcasts from time to time and I find her voice so soothing and inviting. Today I was thrilled to discover that she had a short podcast up about the O Antiphons. Since we are spending time with them ourselves this week, I thought I would share her words here. I tried to embed the player, but it would not work, so just click here to go to the podcast..

Monday Musing – The O Antiphons, O Radix Jesse

Today’s O Antiphon is O Radix Jesse, or Root of Jesse. I am always comforted when I think of how King David was chosen, from the root of Jesse. He was the unlikely one – as is The Christ. Think about unlikely so many things are in your life, and then consider all of that against these things. All things are possible with God.

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.

The O Antiphons – O Adonai

Today is the second day of the O Antiphons. If you did not read yesterday’s post, I am going to post one O Antiphon for the 7 days on which they are used as the antiphon for the Magnificat at Vespers. The antiphons are different names for the Messiah and today’s is O Adonai.

I am late in assembling this post and gratefully so because of something I found this morning.  Adonai, which also means Lord, has some other meanings as well. This is one of my own personal challenges with more literal translations of things in general. (No, I am not complaining about the New Roman Missal, but offering my own perspective about the challenge of translation!)  Words have cultural values as well and their meanings are often expressed through the context of the time in which they are used.

Which is why I was interested to read this at the CSJ Prayer Online Advent Calendar, which is written by Baya Clare, CSJ. Baya is in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, but has ties back to our local Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet community in Latham.

Baya writes about how the term Adonai also refers to the “bread keeper,” indicating that this “bread keepers'” followers would be fed. And our Lord Jesus comes to us as bread and as our keeper, He certainly does keep us fed.

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.

Saturday Song – Gaudete

It is Gaudete Sunday, so let us hear music to go with it!


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