Saturday of the Third Week of Advent
How many times have you listened to “O Come O Come Emmanuel” this Advent? Have you ever paused to listen to and reflect on the verses of the hymn?
In recent weeks I had the opportunity to participate in two guided Advent reflections. Coincidently, both reflections were centered on the “O” Antiphons. Quite honestly, I had never heard of the “O” Antiphons. And I was struck with the realization that I have never really paused to reflect on the richness of the verses in the ever-popular Advent hymn.
The USCCB explains that the “O” Antiphons are antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23. Each antiphon uses biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming of Christ as the fulfillment of Old Testament hopes, as well as present day hopes. The verses of “O Come O Come Emmanuel” are an arrangement of the “O” Antiphons.
Today’s antiphon reads:
"O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: Come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death."
I encourage you to join me in these final days of Advent to listen closely to our beloved Advent hymn and take a moment to reflect on its verses. What are the hopes in your life that you are patiently waiting for Christ to come and fulfill?
Program Manager, Office for Spirituality
O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.