"O Oriens"

Sunday 21 December 2008

"O Oriens"

"O Day-Spring, Brightness of the Light everlasting, and Sun of righteousness: Come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death."

In his commentary on the fifth great 'O' antiphon, Dom Guéranger directly addresses Jesus in Mary's womb, there hidden and unrecognised as she makes her way with Joseph among the crowds on the journey to their native town, "there to be enrolled as the Edict commands". He imagines the indifference with which Mary and Joseph are regarded, if indeed they are noticed at all. Therefore it is no surprise that passeres-by give no thought to the Child, who is obviously so soon to be born.

"And yet this Child is thyself, O Sun of Justice! Oh! increase our Faith, but increase too our love.....Dearest Jesus! who thus traversest the world thou hast created, and who forcest not the honage of thy creatures, we wish to keep near thee during the rest of this thy journey: we kiss the footsteps of Her that carries thee in her womb; we will not leave thee, until we arrive together with thee at Bethlehem, that House of Bread, where, at last, our eyes will see thee, O splendour of eternal light, our Lord and our God!"

Here is a recording of the Antiphon, courtesy of the Oxford Dominicans:

Link: (image: chantblog)

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