Greater Feria (Thursday)

Thursday 17 December 2009

Greater Feria (Thursday)

2nd Class, Violet
(Lauds II; Mag. Ant. 'O Sapientia')


Excita, quæsumus, Dómine, poténtiam tuam, et veni : et magna nobis virtúte succúrre; ut per auxílium grátiæ tuæ, quod nostra peccáta præpédiunt, indulgéntia tuæ propitiatiónis accéleret : Qui vivis.

Let us pray.

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy power, and come; make haste to our aid with thy great might ; that, by the help of thy grace, that which is hindered by our sins may be hastened by thy merciful forgiveness. Who livest.


Today begins the “'O' Antiphons”, a collection of antiphons sung with the Magnificat at Vespers from 17 to 23 December in the Roman Rite, date back at least to the reign of Charlemagne, and there is an English poem based on them by Cynewulf (fl. 8th century). The well-known Advent hymn, “O come, O come, Emmanuel” (Veni, veni, Emanuel), is a metrical text based on the antiphons.

The initial letters of the antiphons,

ignoring the ‘O’, spell out the reverse acrostic, ‘SARCORE’ – ‘ero cras’, ‘I shall be [with you] tomorrow’, a hidden counterpart of the joyful iteration of ‘cras’ which rings like a bell through the liturgy of the last week of Advent.

(The New Oxford Book of Carols, ed. Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott, p. 45)

For December 17

O Sapientia,
quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter,
suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom,
who proceeds from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching out mightily from end to end,
and sweetly arranging all things:
come to teach us the way of prudence.

(English translations of the Latin taken from the Dominican Life website.)

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


Please note: on Thursday 17th December there will be Solemn Latin Vespers and Benediction at 5.00pm (please note the altered time) in St Mary's RC Cathedral, Edinburgh (Scotland) to celebrate this feast.

All are welcome to join the Schola for this opportunity to pray with the ancient music of the Church.

This is the twelfth of monthly sung Vespers sung by the new Edinburgh Schola. Please see for updates and further information.

(image: Wikimedia Commons; text: The Confessing Reader)

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