Once again we are nearing the end of Advent. The rose candle in our Advent wreaths has been lit, signaling we are at least half-way through the season. We notice daylight becoming less and less as we near the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. And perhaps we are busier in our material preparations for Christmas.
Starting today, however, it is in the recitation of Vespers where we get the sense of not only Advent coming to a close but also the Christ Child drawing near. For the next seven nights the antiphons used prior to the recitation of the Magnificat lead us to recall the prophecies of the Savior to come, each a title which underscores and points toward December 25. From the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
...They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but present ones as well. Their repeated use of the imperative "Come!" embodies the longing of all for the Divine Messiah.
As is custom this time of year, this infinitesimal corner of the universe presents its series of meditations on the "O" Antiphons for your edification. The reflections of Fr. John Zuhlsdorf and Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, OSB, as well as my own widow's mite, are once again offered. Also included is a copy of the music of the antiphon and a link to it being intoned. (Fedora doff to Fr. Jim Tucker of the defunct 'blog "Dappled Things" via the the 'blog "Fisheaters" for the recordings.)
The traffic numbers suggest these are my most popular posts. Perhaps because their message is timeless as well as timely is why I repeat them every year. The Word still speaks.
Enjoy as we come toward the day of fulfillment.