December 23: The O Antiphons reflections end today with O Emmanuel or God with us. O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God. . . . → Read More: The 7th Great Antiphon: O Emmanuel — God With Us
December 22: The O Antiphons reflections continue with O Rex Gentium or O King of All Nations. O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust. . . . → Read More: The 6th Great Antiphon: O Rex Gentium — King of All the Nations
O Flower of Jesse’s stem, O Root of Jesse. We see those words in Scripture; we sing them in hymns. But what do they mean? The O Antiphon reflections continue with December 19: O Radix Jesse. . . . → Read More: The 3rd Great Antiphon: O Radix Jesse — O Root of Jesse
December 18: The O Antiphons continue with O Adonai or O Lord and Ruler. 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. . . . → Read More: The 2nd Great Antiphon: O Adonai — O Lord & Ruler
December 17: The O Antiphons reflections begin with O Sapietia or O Wisdom. 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. . . . → Read More: The 1st Great Antiphon: O Sapietia — O Wisdom
You are most likely familiar with the Advent hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” But are you as familiar with its rich history — a great treasure of the Advent season? . . . → Read More: The Great Antiphons & the Rich History of O Come, O Come Emmanuel
This is the cover of the English-language January 2012 edition of Magnificat. It features “Adoration of the Magi,” an illumination from the Hours of Henry VIII, Tours, France, circa 1500.
© The Pierpont Morgan Library / Art Resource / Scala, Florence
I found the commentary by Pierre-Marie Dumont quite enlightening:
“In the fourth century, Byzantine art begins to differentiate the ages of the Magi; the first becomes an old man with a long white beard; the second a mature man with a brown beard; the third a clean-shaven young man. Early in the eleventh century the names of the Magi appear in tandem with their . . . → Read More: Adoration of the Magi
I recently participated in the Festival of Lessons and Carols at my parish, St. Francis of Assisi (SFA) in West Des Moines, Iowa. While Lessons and Carols is a rather new tradition here, it originated in 1918 at King’s College of the University of Cambridge in England as a thanksgiving service after the close of World War I. The festival was first broadcast by BBC Radio in 1928, and except for 1930, has been broadcast every Christmas Eve since, propelling its popularity far beyond Cambridge.
A traditional Festival of Lessons and Carols is arranged with nine Scripture passages (the lessons) that recount the full Christmas story, beginning with the Fall . . . → Read More: From the Mouths of Babes: Lessons and Carols