Friday, December 31, 2021

A Tune For One And For All



It still is a time to celebrate, despite the trials, tribulation, and turmoil of the past 365 days. If we gather with family and friends around us or spend it quietly by ourselves, it it still an occasion in which to revel, even in a subdued way. These words, penned by Scottish poet Robert Burns and set to music in the late 18th. century, is a reminder that, while we will always have God with us, we also we have each other as well:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu'd the gowans fine;
But we've wandered mony a weary fit
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidled i' the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne, 
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

May God bless you richly in 2022. May He bestow upon you every grace you need. May joy, peace, hope, and love be your companions.

Happy New Year, Everybody!

The Best New Year's Hymn



New Advent provides the background to this hymn.

The website FishEaters.com provided the Latin and English.

From The Handbook of Indulgences:
A partial indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who recite the hymn, Te Deum, as an act of thanksgiving.  The indulgence will be a plenary one if this hymn is publicly recited on the last day of the year.
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Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli; tibi Caeli et universae Potestates;
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae maiestatis:
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni: quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.
Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae!
Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.
Per singulos dies benedicimus te.
Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.
Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.
Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.
Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.
In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.

V. Benedictus es, Domine, Deus patrum nostrorum.
R. Et laudabilis, et gloriosus in saecula.
V. Benedicamus Patrem et Filium, cum Santo Spiritu.
R. Laudemus et superexaltemus eum in saecula.

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O God, we praise Thee: we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.
Thee, the Father, all the earth doth worship.
To Thee all the Angels, the Heavens and all the Powers,
To Thee the Cherubim and Seraphim cry out without ceasing:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Full are the Heavens and the earth of the majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles praises Thee,
The admirable company of Prophets praises Thee,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Thee, the Holy Church throughout the world doth confess:
The Father of infinite Majesty;
Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.
Thou, O Christ, are the King of glory!
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
Thou, having taken it upon Thyself to deliver man, didst not disdain the Virgin's womb.
Thou, having overcome the sting of death, hast opened to believers the Kingdom of Heaven.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
Thou, we believe, art the Judge to come.
We beseech Thee, therefore, to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.
Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.
O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance!
And govern them, and exalt them forever.
Day by day we bless Thee
And we praise Thy Name forever: yea, forever and ever.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, this day to keep us without sin.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have trusted in Thee.
O Lord, in Thee I have trusted; let me not be confounded forever.

V. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers.
R. And worthy to be praised and glorified for ever.
V. Let us bless the Father and the Son, with the Holy Ghost.
R. Let us praise and magnify Him for ever.


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Originally posted 12/31/2011.
Re-posted 12/31/2012.
Re-posted 12/31/2013.
Re-posted 12/31/2014.
Re-posted 12/31/2015.
Re-posted 12/31/2016.
Re-posted 12/31/2017.
Re-posted 12/31/2018.
Re-posted 12/31/2019.
Re-posted 12/31/2020.

Same Things, Different Year

Just a few hours left in 2021.

In some ways, it looked a lot like 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic still was the overarching story, as both the virus and the narrative continued to show variety. Until this disease goes away, this saga won't. And any associated drama and tension which this blankets, in terms of social and political activities, is going to hover below the surface, occasionally coming up for air. Heaven help us when these hells breaks loose. (And they will.)

Yet there are signs of recovery, however hindered by the threat of rising inflation or infection rates. However, just when people think they are going to turn the corner, even every so slightly, they realize they are in a roundabout. It is this awkward waltz of two steps forward, one back.

I did OK the past year. Physically, I still haven't encountered this menace. (Full disclosure--I am fully vaccinated and thinking about a booster.) My finances made a bit of a rebound as well. A small raise last year as a crossing guard took full effect as schools returned to five days in-person. And at the local amusement park, I picked up additional hours performing duties in hiring personnel as well as my duties in the park, as it was open as close to there normal hours this season. It all added up. For the first time since 2004, my total income for the year was a five-digit figure. Granted, that first figure is a one, but it is a victory on the economic front for me.

The park, on the other hand, had to suffer a couple of heartbreaks, both of which happened in the past five months. In August, this happened. I was there; I didn't see it happen, but I was about 50-60 feet away from where he landed. (Please say a prayer for the repose of his soul; I have a few times.) And just before Christmas, this happened. (Just another example of gains and losses.)

It was also a bit of a tease when it came to seeking full-time employment, especially when it came to jobs within the Church. Four positions involving liturgy and/or music (including one at the parish where I got my start as a church musician) got at least to the interview stage. Alas, none of them yielded any further consideration. But despite the fact of where I am in my life, I am still hopeful of landing something. I know what I have to overcome.

So, there you have it. The status quo is still status quo, ever so slightly trending up. Opportunities are going to present themselves in 2022. I still have to remind myself to "Go Forward; Be Bold." But all in all, there is a sense of eagerness and anticipation about the next twelve month.

I hope to see improvement.

I hope for blessings from God like never before.

I hope you continue to share my journey.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

2021 Christmas Card


May the Christ Child fill you with joy, hope, peace, and love.
May the newborn King of Kings reign in your life.
May He, born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger, bestow upon you abundant blessings in the coming year.

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Friday, December 24, 2021

Proclamation Of The Birth Of Christ

Anno a creatione mundi, quando in principio Deus creavit coelum et terram, quinquies millesimo centesimo nonagesimo nono:
A diluvio vero, anno bis millesimo nongentesimo quinquagesimo septimo:
A nativitate Abrahae, anno bis millesimo quintodecimo:
A Moyse et egressu populi Israel de Aegypto, anno millesimo quingentesimo decimo:
Ab unctione David in regem, anno millesimo trigesimo secundo:
Hebdomoda sexagesima quinta juxta Danielis prophetiam:
Olympiade centesima nongentesima quarta:
Ab urbe Roma condita, anno septingentesimo quinquagesimo secundo:
Anno imperii Octaviani Augusti quadragesimo secundo:
Toto urbe in pace composito:
Sexta mundi aetate:
Jesus Christus aeternus Deus, aeternique Patris Filius, mundum volens adventu suo piisimo consecrare, de Spiritu Sancto conceptus, novemque post conceptionem decursus mensibus, in Bethlehem Judae nascitur ex Maria Virgine factus homo:
NATIVITAS DOMINI NOSTRI JESU CHRISTI SECUNDUM CARNEM!

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The year from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created heaven and earth, five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine:
From the deluge, the year two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven:
From the birth of Abraham, the year two thousand and fifteen:
From Moses and the going out of the people of Israel from Egypt, the year one thousand five hundred and ten:
From David's being anointed king, the year one thousand and thirty-two:
In the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel:
In the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad:
From the building of the city of Rome, the year seven hundred and fifty-two:
In the forty-second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus:
The whole world being in peace:
In the sixth age of the world:
Jesus Christ, the eternal God, and Son of the eternal Father, wishing to consecrate this world by his most merciful coming, being conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months since his conception having passed, In Bethlehem of Juda is born of the Virgin Mary, being made Man:
THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO THE FLESH!

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The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good. 
When the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy,He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.
Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7
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NOTES:
Originally posted as "Behold, I Bring You Good News"; 12/24/2005.
Linked in "Repeat The Sounding Joy"; 12/24/2006.
Re-posted 12/24/2007.
Re-posted 12/25/2008.
Re-posted 12/24/2009.
Re-posted 12/24/2010.
Re-posted 12/24/2011.
Re-posted 12/24/2012.
Re-posted 12/24/2013.
Re-posted 12/24/2014.
Re-posted 12/24/2015.
Re-posted 12/24/2016.
Re-posted 12/24/2017.
Re-posted 12/24/2018.
Re-posted 12/24/2019.
Re-posted 12/24/2020.

2021 Christmas Eve Reflection

The First Reading from the Mass of the Nativity of the Lord--Vigil Mass:
For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her vindication shines forth like the dawn and her victory like a burning torch.  
Nations shall behold your vindication, and all the kings your glory; you shall be called by a new name pronounced by the mouth of the LORD. You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the LORD, a royal diadem held by your God. No more shall people call you “Forsaken,” or your land “Desolate,” but you shall be called “My Delight,” and your land “Espoused.” For the LORD delights in you and makes your land his spouse. As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you.

Isaiah 62:1-5

As has been my wont for the past few years, I once again turn to one of the readings found in the Masses celebrated on Christmas for inspiration. If you remember from last year, I only had five remaining amongst the twelve. Slim pickings only in number, not quality. (And if you truly want to do any justice to the Prologue of the Gospel of St. John, that can easily be broken up into digestible bits.) Let's just say the order of the next few reflections seems to be established.

The imagery found here begs for an act of lectio divina. Like last year, there are not a lot of short clauses to parse; however, on a quick first perusal, I do see a lot of parallelism. And with this post comes my usual disclaimer:  as an untrained laymen in theology or biblical exegesis, I am only expounding on what my poor brain is gleaning. Please feel free to use my meager musings as a point of departure for your own meditation.

For Zion’s sake...for Jerusalem’s sake... For the sake of the People of God, first the Israelites, then the entire world, something had to be done. Since the Fall, humanity has been in a pitiable state. (Makes one wonder if things have changed.) Mired in sin, cut off from Paradise, unable to see His face, the crowing glory of God's creation was one step short not of returning to the nothingness from which it was made, but entering the emptiness which is Hell.

...I will not be silent, ...I will not be quiet,... God is definitely speaking through this prophet. Return to the creation of the world. For six days "And God said...And it was good." (cf. Genesis 1) As the Father spoke the Word on the breath of the Spirit then, now He shall re-create and redeem the world in the same manner. Hence, the Annunciation.

...until her vindication...her victory... Here is a hint of what is to come in the rest of this passage. Like the prophet Hosea, who forgave the unfaithfulness of his wife time and time again, God is demonstrating His faithfulness to the covenant He established with Abram and his descendants. As creation was whole before the disobedience of our First Parents, so it would become again. As there was communion (common-union) between God and us, so shall that integrity return. "But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57)

...shines forth like the dawn...a burning torch. "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption." (Galatians 4:4-5) "What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:3b-4) And what is this light but none other than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Light of the world (cf. John 8:12), the Resurrection and the Life (cf. John 11:25-26). 

Nations/all the kings...behold your vindication/your glory; "All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD; All the families of nations will bow low before him. For kingship belongs to the LORD, the ruler over the nations. All who sleep in the earth will bow low before God; All who have gone down into the dust will kneel in homage." (Psalm 22:28-30) Isaiah must have been very familiar with what King David had written in order to proclaim this. And is this not a foreshadowing of the visit of the Magi (cf. Isaiah 60:1-6; Matthew 2:1-12)? But this beholding is not complete until "...when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself." (cf. John 12:32)

...called by a new name..."See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are....Beloved, we are God’s children now;..." (Cf. 1 John 3:1-2) Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus we are now adopted children of God, beloved in Christ. We are more than restored; we have been renewed. Our dignity as a creation of God has been elevated even more.

...a glorious crown/a royal diadem...in the hand of the LORD/held by your God. When humanity was made, God finally pronounced all He made "very good" (cf. Genesis 1:31), and thus we became the crowning glory of His creation. When humanity sinned, that crown was tarnished beyond repair or replacement, as far as human hands were concerned. But for God nothing is impossible. Sacred Scripture is not nothing but what God has done and has done for us. Through Jesus Christ, we have become a new creation, even more fitting a jewel than before. But it is still up to us, "with the help of thy Grace," to continue to be fitting.

No more...“Forsaken,”...but “My Delight,”... Recall these words Jesus spoke upon the Cross, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46b; cf. Psalm 22:2) Recall also what St. Matthew said, "This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:  'Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight;...'" (Matthew 12:17-18a; cf. Isaiah 42:1a). Because Jesus assumed our humanity, we now have a share in his divinity. Because the Father sees the Son in His creation, this passage also applies to us.

No more ...your land “Desolate,” but...your land “Espoused." "Yes, the LORD will grant his bounty; our land will yield its produce." (Psalm 85:13) Our efforts at producing good fruit on our own in our soul, the land of which Isaiah is alluding, is a fool's errand. Our efforts at appeasement are in vain. Only being united with Grace will our works be fruitful. Only then will the admonition in the Letter of St. James come true (cf. James 2:17-18).

As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you;... Here is a return to the image of Bridegroom and Bride hinted at earlier. Here is where God pledges His love to us and for us. Here is where He forgives us. "For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will take you back. In an outburst of wrath, for a moment I hid my face from you; But with enduring love I take pity on you, says the LORD, your redeemer." (Isaiah 54:7-8) It is from this covenantal image, along with the covenants God made throughout the Old Testament, that the Church's teaching on the Sacrament of Marriage comes.

...and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you. "Because God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have being, and the creatures of the world are wholesome; there is not a destructive drug among them nor any domain of Hades on earth, for righteousness is undying." (Wisdom 1:13-15) God wants us to live and live forever. He rejoices when we are faithful to the covenant between Him and us and will take us back when we truly repent of breaking that covenant. Paraphrasing St. Augustine, while we were created by God without our consent, we can only be saved by God with it.

As I look back at the opening verse of this reading, like Isaiah, we cannot be mute in proclaiming the salvation of the world in Jesus Christ. Word and deed make us not only a disciple of Jesus but also a witness to the love of God. When we do those things, we affirm the reality of the Incarnation.

Just as it first came to be some 2,000+ years ago.

We announce vindication and victory.

Hodie Christus natus est.

Another Advent Plea

The original Latin was penned by none other that St. Ambrose in the 4th. Century. Martin Luther translated it into German in the 16th. Century. William M. Reynolds translated it into English in the 19th. Century. It is sung to the tune is Nun Komm, Der Heiden Heiland

Maranatha! Come, O Lord!

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1. Savior of the nations, come;
Virgin's Son, here make Thy home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.

2. Not by human flesh and blood;
By the Spirit of our God
Was the Word of God made flesh,
Woman's offspring, pure and fresh.

3. Wondrous birth! O wondrous Child
Of the virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
Still to be in heaven enthroned.

4. From the Father forth He came
And returneth to the same,
Captive leading death and hell
High the song of triumph swell!

5. Thou, the Father's only Son,
Hast over sin the victory won.
Boundless shall Thy kingdom be;
When shall we its glories see?

6. Brightly doth Thy manger shine,
Glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin overcloud this light;
Ever be our faith thus bright.

7. Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be
Ever and eternally.

Ero cras.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

O Antiphon: God Is With Us



Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered, "I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!"
Then he said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:10-14
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Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us."
When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.

Matthew 1:18-25


Emmanuel. God is with us. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

Even though man left God, He never left us. The Word was always there: in the rainbow, the visitors to Abraham, the plagues, the cloud, the manna, the tablets, the ark, the temple, the tiny whispering sound, the speech of the prophets and psalmists, and whatever examples you may find elsewhere in the Old Testament.
In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe,who is the refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being, and who sustains all things by his mighty word.
Hebrews 1:1-3

Echoes of sound and glimmers of light. The faintest sensory perceptions for the soul damaged by Original Sin. Reflections of true reality. All pale in comparison.
And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14
Emmanuel.

God is with us.

God is still with us.

"And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20b)
Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them (as their God).

Revelations 21:3

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Fr. Z's reflection can be found here.
Fr. Kirby's reflection can be found here.

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Click here to listen to the chant.

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster.

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O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

O Antiphon: King Of Kings


Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; But upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you: Your sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.
Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, For the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.
All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered for you, the rams of Nebaioth shall be your sacrifices; They will be acceptable offerings on my altar, and I will enhance the splendor of my house.

Isaiah 60:1-7
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When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage....Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance....After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2:1-2,7,9-11

It was a question which framed the beginning and end of His life.

A question of identity.

"Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage." (Matthew 2:2)

Strangers in a strange land, the Magi saw a glimmer of the Light and inquired about to Whom it lead. When told, they were able to hear the Word and find Him, while those who help them wanted to silence the echo. The echo would now grow louder because more would be able to hear it.

"Are you the King of the Jews?" (John 18:33b)

An earthly ruler, feeling threatened by the Word (history does repeat itself, doesn't it?), asked again. He directly heard, but could not respond. In the end, he would help to attempt to silence once and for all the Word.

And even in between those two questions, people wanted to know if they were among royalty.

They were right.

Found in the Book of Revelation (cf. 11:15, 19:6 and 19:16, KJV), used by Charles Jennens in a libretto, and set to music by Georg Frideric Handel, the Word reigns just as true at His birth, death, resurrection, Good Friday of 1742, and today.
Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
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Fr. Z's reflection can be found here.
Fr. Kirby's refection can be found here.

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Click here to listen to the chant.

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.

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O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

O Antiphon: Light From Light


Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness; for there is no gloom where but now there was distress.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, As they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, And the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames.
Isaiah 8:23b-9:4

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Jesus said to them, "The light will be among you only a little while. Walk while you have the light, so that darkness may not overcome you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light....Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me."

John 12:35-36; 44b-50

Return again to the creation story. What was the first thing formed from nothing by the Word? Light. But Who was this Light? St. John gives the answer (and expounds on it further in his first letter):
What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (1:3b-5)
Yet, once it thought it had succeeded with Adam and Eve, the darkness tried and tried again to overcome the Light during salvation history. But just as the echo of the Word still remained, so did a glimmer of Light. Noah saw it in the rainbow. Moses, who already viewed the burning bush, was privileged to see more than a glimmer on Mt. Siani. The Magi followed a star.

All of these pale when the Word spoke plainly:
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12b)
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Fr. Z's reflection can be found here.
Fr. Kirby's reflection can be found here.

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Click here to listen to the chant.

O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

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O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!

Monday, December 20, 2021

O Antiphon: The Keys Of The Kingdom


Thus says the Lord, the GOD of hosts: Up, go to that official, Shebna, master of the palace,
Who has hewn for himself a sepulcher on a height and carved his tomb in the rock: "What are you doing here, and what people have you here, that here you have hewn for yourself a tomb?"
The LORD shall hurl you down headlong, mortal man! He shall grip you firmly
And roll you up and toss you like a ball into an open land To perish there, you and the chariots you glory in, you disgrace to your master's house!
I will thrust you from your office and pull you down from your station.
On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah;
I will clothe him with your robe, and gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.
I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open.
I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot, to be a place of honor for his family;
On him shall hang all the glory of his family: descendants and offspring, all the little dishes, from bowls to jugs.
On that day, says the LORD of hosts, the peg fixed in a sure spot shall give way, break off and fall, and the weight that hung on it shall be done away with; for the LORD has spoken.
Isaiah 22:15-2
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When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Matthew 16:13-19

How powerful is the Word. From nothing, creation sprang forth when He was uttered. He speaks and the Law is given. Any oration from Him is full of wisdom and truth.

Perhaps, as is suggested in the verse from Isaiah above, the ability to bind and loose is the most powerful message He delivers. To bind a not so heavy yoke upon us, unlike the Pharisees he chastises in His ministry. To loosen us from the bondage of sin. To bind us together as brothers and sisters in Him. To loosen us from the fear which keeps us from loving each other. To bind our sufferings with His. To loosen the grip of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

But the most powerful thing this Word says is to the gates of Heaven, "Open. I closed you when Adam and Eve did not listen to Me. Because I now have taken on the nature of the crown of My creation and have redeemed them with My life, because I obeyed My Father, I make it possible for them to enter the Kingdom if they heed My voice. My church, My bride, has been entrusted with My words, My teachings, My sacramental grace to make heeding My voice an easy yoke. Those who heed My church heed My voice, and I will raise them up on the last day."
"The King of Glory comes, the nation rejoices.
Open the gates before Him, lift up your voices."

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Fr. Z's reflection can be found here.
Fr. Kirby's reflection can be found here.

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Click here to listen to the chant.

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel; qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

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O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth, come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

O Antiphon: From Jesse's Tree


But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea.
On that day, The root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, The Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.
Isaiah 11:1-10

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The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king. David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph.
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile.
After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah.
Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah, fourteen generations.

Matthew 1:1-17


The genealogy of Jesus found in the first chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew (1-17), the Gospel proclamation for the Mass of Christmas Eve, established Him as a descendant of the royal bloodline of David. It also connects Him to our father in faith, Abraham. Through the trials he endured, the father of many nations faithfully obeyed (heard) the Word.

How appropriate the Word would once again be proclaimed through his lineage. Some 42 generations later, a man who was in that line would have to do the same thing as Abraham. Like his ancestor and his betrothed, Joseph was visited by an angel. The heavenly being brings a similar message which Gabriel announced to Mary. Again, the words were only secondary. Again, the Word is more than an echo.

Like "father of faith," like "son." Two righteous men, the same act of faith. Both obeyed a timeless Word.

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Fr. Z's reflection can be found here.
Fr. Kirby's reflection can be found here.

**********


Click here to listen to the chant.

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem Gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

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O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at Whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Whom the Gentiles shall seek, come to deliver us, do not tarry.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

O Antiphon: The Law Giver


Now will I rise up, says the LORD, now will I be exalted, now be lifted up.
You conceive dry grass, bring forth stubble; my spirit shall consume you like fire.
The peoples shall be as in a limekiln, like brushwood cut down for burning in the fire.
Hear, you who are far off, what I have done; you who are near, acknowledge my might.
On Zion sinners are in dread, trembling grips the impious: "Who of us can live with the consuming fire? who of us can live with the everlasting flames?"
He who practices virtue and speaks honestly, who spurns what is gained by oppression, Brushing his hands free of contact with a bribe, stopping his ears lest he hear of bloodshed, closing his eyes lest he look on evil--
He shall dwell on the heights, his stronghold shall be the rocky fastness, his food and drink in steady supply.
Your eyes will see a king in his splendor, they will look upon a vast land.
Your mind will dwell on the terror: "Where is he who counted, where is he who weighed? Where is he who counted the towers?"
To the people of alien tongue you will look no more, the people of obscure speech, stammering in a language not understood.
Look to Zion, the city of our festivals; let your eyes see Jerusalem as a quiet abode, a tent not to be struck, Whose pegs will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes severed.
Indeed the LORD will be there with us, majestic; yes, the LORD our judge, the LORD our lawgiver, the LORD our king, he it is who will save us.
Isaiah 33:10-22

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Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.  Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 5:17-20



The first "O Antiphon" speaks of wisdom and how it created order from the chaos. It was the first time the Word was heard clearly and obediently. Even though Adam and Eve disobeyed (did not hear), God would not abandon the crowning glory of His creation to death. There were always glimmers of hope in early salvation history when the Word was more than an echo, for example, when Noah and Abraham obeyed the commands given them by God.

It was, however, time for the Word to become, in a sense, visible.

Enter Moses.

God was once again speaking His Word, this time through a mouthpiece which only knew how to stutter. The strange and awesome sight of the burning bush, where and when the Word revealed His name for the first time, was just the opening dialog. The ten plagues was a not so subtle way of getting everyone's attention. The parting of the Red Sea was just an exclamation point.

Now, fast forward to Mount Sinai.

The Word was about to become, in a sense, visible.

Recall the scene from the Book of Exodus. God came as a dense cloud. This holy mountain shook from the conversation between God and Moses. The Chosen People were commanded to worthily prepare themselves. Then, on the third day, when God finished speaking to Moses, He then spoke to the Israelites through Moses.

God gave them the Decalogue.

The Word became, in a sense, visible.

Despite it being "ten words" on stone tablets, it is still the undivided Word.

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Fr. Z's reflection can be found here.
Fr. Kirby's reflection can be found here.

**********


Click here to listen to the chant.

O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

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O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm!

Advent Wreath

Friday, December 17, 2021

O Antiphon: The Coming Of Wisdom


"The LORD begot me, the first-born of his ways, the forerunner of his prodigies of long ago;
From of old I was poured forth, at the first, before the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains or springs of water;
Before the mountains were settled into place, before the hills, I was brought forth;
While as yet the earth and the fields were not made, nor the first clods of the world.

"When he established the heavens I was there, when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep;
When he made firm the skies above, when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth;
When he set for the sea its limit, so that the waters should not transgress his command;
Then was I beside him as his craftsman, and I was his delight day by day,
Playing before him all the while, playing on the surface of his earth; and I found delight in the sons of men.

"So now, O children, listen to me; instruction and wisdom do not reject!
Happy the man who obeys me, and happy those who keep my ways,
Happy the man watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts;
For he who finds me finds life, and wins favor from the LORD;
But he who misses me harms himself; all who hate me love death."
Proverbs 8:22-36

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At that time Jesus said in reply, "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

Matthew 11:25-30


Looking at the beginning of this antiphon, I am drawn to the opening of the Gospel of St. John, which is proclaimed at the Mass of Christmas Day:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
It is tied together with the creation story found in the first chapter of Genesis. Each day is climaxed by the phrase "Then God said." Each time, the Father, on the breath of the Spirit uttered the Word, His Son, Jesus Christ. "And so it happened." No matter what was created, it came about through the Trinity. The whole of creation from "one end to another" is ordered mightily and sweetly--it is "very good."

Then entered sin.

Then entered the need for salvation.

Throughout salvation history, the Word was uttered repeatedly, from Abraham to Moses to David to the prophets to John the Baptist. Some did heed the Word again, much like Elijah hearing the faint whispering sound (1 Kings 19:11-12). But these utterings were only echoes of Genesis. One knows how faint an echo becomes after the first repetition, no matter how loud the original sound.

So became the need for re-creation. The Word was then uttered "to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary." Note that when she accepted ("Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word"), she was not heeding the words of Gabriel. She heard the Word as clearly as the first fruits of creation.

Et Verbum caro factum est. Et habitavit in nobis.

There would be no more echoes.

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Fr. Z's reflection can be found here.
Fr. Kirby's reflection can be found here.

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Click here to listen to the chant.

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

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O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!

In The Correct "O"rder

Nearly everyone is familiar with the Advent hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel". It is a combination and paraphrase of the "O" Antiphons, the seven antiphons recited or chanted before the Magnificat during Evening Prayer (Liturgy of the Hours)/Vespers (Divine Office) beginning tonight. For many, this is the most and only exposure they have to these texts.

What those folks don't know or realize is that the order of the verses presented in the hymn is not the order the antiphons are presented. Properly edited in chronological order, the familiar first verse (O come, O come, Emmanuel) would be the last, with the other six moving up one spot and staying in the order presented. My guess is that having the last verse first keeps the traditional Advent theme of preparing for the coming of Christ (cf. Isaiah 7:14) at the fore.

Nevertheless, as has been tradition in this infinitesimal corner of the universe since its inception, I once again humbly submit my reflections on the "O" Antiphons. The first major series I undertook on this 'blog, it has undergone two revisions during it life (as I still have versions 1.0 and 2.0 archived). In its current form, it is still my hope that the next seven days of posts will provide food for meditation as we approach the final days of Advent.

Bethlehem is not that far away.

The time of fulfillment is nearing.

Venite first; then, Gaudete.

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Ora Pro Nobis



As patroness of the United States of America under this title, we are under her care. On this feast day, let us pray for the welfare of our country, that we may continue to be "one nation, under God".
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone that fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly to you, O virgin of virgins, my mother; to you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer them. Amen.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux

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Originally posted 12/8/2005.
Re-posted 12/8/2006.
Re-posted 12/8/2009.
Re-posted 12/8/2011.
Re-created with new image 12/8/2015.
Re-posted 12/8/2016.
Re-posted 12/8/2017.
Re-posted 12/8/2018.
Original and re-created posts combined and edited 12/8/2020.

Sunday, December 05, 2021

In Memory Of...

Francis Joseph Rolling
Born: March 24, 1935
Died: December 5, 1991
Requiescat In Pace.

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Originally posted 12/5/2005.
Re-posted 12/5/2008.
Re-posted 12/5/2009.
Re-posted 12/5/2010.
Re-posted 12/5/2011.
Re-posted 12/5/2012.
Re-posted 12/5/2013.
Re-posted 12/5/2014.
Re-posted 12/5/2015.
Re-posted 12/5/2016.
Re-posted 12/5/2017.
Re-posted 12/5/2018.
Re-posted 12/5/2019.
Re-posted 12/5/2020.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

December 2021 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

 Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:

Catechists. Let us pray for the catechists, summoned to announce the Word of God: may they be its witnesses, with courage and creativity and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

A reflection for this intention is found here. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Mediation For Advent

Hail and blessed be the hour and the moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

To be recited 15 times a day from the Feast of St. Andrew's (November 30) until Christmas.

(Fedora Doff to Drew at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping.)

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Originally posted 12/1/2005.
Re-posted 11/29/2008.
Re-posted 11/28/2009.
Re-posted 11/27/2010.
Re-posted 11/26/2011.
Re-posted 12/2/2012.
Re-posted 11/30/2013.
Re-posted 11/29/2014.
Re-posted 11/28/2015.
Re-posted 11/30/2016.
Re-posted 11/30/2017.
Re-posted 11/30/2018.
Re-posted 11/30/2019.
Re-posted 11/30/2020.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Advent Prayer

O Lovely Infant Jesus, You will abide with me once more.
O that I might prepare for You an agreeable dwelling place in my heart.
Jesus, Almighty Savior, come to my aid!
Bless me, hands of my infant Savior!
May Your love remain in my heart, dear Jesus!
Be born again in me.
Bless me and give me simplicity of heart, humility, and obedience.

St. John Neumann (1811-1860)

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Originally posted 11/26/2005.
Re-posted 11/29/2008.
Re-posted 11/28/2009.
Re-posted 11/27/2010.
Re-posted 11/26/2011.
Re-posted 12/2/2012.
Re-posted 11/30/2013.
Re-posted 11/29/2014.
Re-posted 11/28/2015.
Re-posted 11/29/2016.
Re-posted 12/2/2017.
Re-posted 11/30/2019.
Re-posted 11/29/2020.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

As We Await The Blessed Hope,...

 ...the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.

Titus 2:13-14

And so it begins.

The first days of the new liturgical year.

Draped in purple, with just a touch of rose and a hint of white.

And while the world has already started its external preparations for Christmas, we start our internal ones.

Advent is here. And while the repeated "Veni, Veni" of the "O" Antiphons are still weeks away, pointing us to the "Venite, Adoremus" of "Adeste Fideles", that time will come sooner than we anticipate.

But now, it is time to prepare the way of the Lord. He Who cannot be confined bound Himself in human flesh, starting with the nine months in His Mother's womb. He Who is invisible is about to be seen. He Who is the Bread of Life will come to the House of Bread. He Who is the Lamb of God will be born in a stable.

How you prepare will be up to you.

But do prepare.

Love, the guest, the rose, the bird, the star, the Lord, is on His way.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

2021 Thanksgiving Day Card


May you rejoice always for all the blessings bestowed upon you by God. May your prayer of thanksgiving to Him be unceasing. May your gratitude both now and forever shine forth in thought, word, and deed so as to do His will.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody!

Monday, November 22, 2021

A Cantata For A Lady

The Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr, is today. As the patron saint of musician, there were times in history where concerts were performed in her honor and composition written in her name. George Frederick Handel composed this work in 1739, using a poem written in 1687 by John Dryden.


To all those involved in church music, no matter what level of competency, may you continue to "make a joyful sound unto the Lord."

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Royal Hymn

In honor of the Feast of Christ the King, I present excerpts of the hymn Christus Vincit as it was chanted at the 2010 CMAA Winter Chant Intensive. (In case you want to know what I look like, I am the first one in the front pew with the rest of the men.)



The text and translation is courtesy of The Parish Book of Chant.

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Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!

Exaudi, Christe.

Benedicto, Summo Pontifici, in unum populos doctrina congreganti caritate: Pastori gratia gregi obsequentia.

Salvator mundi, Tu illum adjuva.
Sancta Maria, Tu illum adjuva.
Sancte Petre, Tu illum adjuva.
Sancte Paule, Tu illum adjuva.
Sancte Benedicte, Tu illum adjuva.

Rex regum! Rex noster! Spes nostra! Gloria nostra!

Magistratibus et omnibus concivibus nobiscum orantibus: cordis vera quies votorum effctus.

Auxilium christianorum, Tu illos adjuva.
Sancte Michael, Tu illos adjuva.
Sancte Benedicte, Tu illos adjuva.

Ipsi soli imperium, laus et jubilatio per infinita saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Tempora bona habeant! Tempora bona habeant redempti Sanguine Christi.

Feliciter!

Pax Christi veniat! Regnum Christi veniat! Deo Gratias! Amen.

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Christ conquers! Christ reigns! Christ commands!

Give ear, O Christ!

To the Supreme Pontiff [Benedict], who gathereth into one all peoples through doctrine, in charity: let there be dignity for our Shepherd, and obedience for his flock.

O Saviour of the world, grant him assistance.
Holy Mary,...
Holy Peter,...
Holy Paul,...
Holy Benedict,...

King of Kings! Our King! Our hope! Our glory!

To the magistrates and all fellow citizens praying with us: let the effect of their devotions be true rest for the heart.

O help of Christians, grant them assistance.
Holy Michael,...
Holy Benedict,...

Let all power, praise, and jubilation be to Him alone, through endless ages to ages. Amen.

May they have prosperous times! May they have prosperous times by the redemptive Blood of Christ!

Joyously!

Let the Peace of Christ come! Let the Reign of Christ come! Thanks be to God! Amen.

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Originally posted 11/20/2011.
Re-posted 11/25/2012.
Re-posted 11/23/2014.
Re-posted 11/22/2015.
Re-posted 11/20/2016.
Re-posted 11/26/2017.
Re-posted 11/25/2018.
Re-posted 11/24/2019.
Re-posted 11/22/2020.

Christus Rex


1. To Jesus Christ, our Sov'reign King,
Who is the world's salvation,
All praise and homage do we bring,
And thanks and adoration.

Refrain:  Christ Jesus Victor, Christ Jesus Ruler!
Christ Jesus, Lord and Redeemer!

2. Thy reign extend, O King benign,
To ev'ry land and nation,
For in Thy kingdom, Lord divine,
Alone we find salvation.

(Refrain)

3. To Thee and to Thy Church, great King,
We pledge our hearts' oblation,
Until before Thy throne we sing,
In endless jubilation.

(Refrain)

From the 2 Hearts Network, here is a link to prayers specifically about our King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

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Originally posted 11/25/2007.
Re-posted 11/21/2010.
Re-posted 11/25/2012.
Re-posted 11/24/2013.
Re-posted 11/23/2014.
Re-posted 11/22/2015.
Re-posted 11/20/2016.
Re-posted 11/26/2017.
Re-posted 11/25/2018.
Re-posted 11/24/2019.
Re-posted 11/22/2020.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Veteran's Day Acknowledgement

My two brothers are veterans of the Air Force. I have other relatives who have served in various branches of the military. I personally owe them a debt of gratitude for their service to the country. To all other veterans, that gratitude, while not as personal, is nonetheless heartfelt.

Our active military personnel take the following oath (those in the National Guard take a similar oath which includes obeying orders from their state's Governor):
I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
For those who preserve our freedom, we salute you!

NOTE: I gave a Fedora Doff to a Facebook friend who posted a video on my wall which I had placed here in 2010. I no longer have that link.

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Originally posted 11/11/2010.
Re-posted 11/11/2011.
Re-posted 11/11/2012.
Updated and edited 11/11/2013.
Re-posted 11/11/2014.
Re-posted 11/11/2015.
Re-posted 11/11/2016.
Re-posted 11/11/2017.
Re-posted 11/11/2019.
Re-posted 11/11/2020.

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

The Church Suffering


Le Jour des Morts by William Bougueareau
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the LORD shall be their King forever. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect.

Wisdom 3:1-9

The last on the list of the seven Spiritual Works of Mercy is to pray for the dead. The month of November is devoted to doing that, as many parishes have a "Book of the Dead" and remember "those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith." Fish Eaters also has an article describing other practices to free souls from Purgatory.

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Requiem aeternam dona ei (eis) Domine; et lux perpetua luceat ei (eis).
Requiescat (Requiescant) in pace. Amen.

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Eternal rest grant unto him/her (them), O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him/her (them).
May he/she (they) rest in peace. Amen.

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Originally posted 11/2/2006.
Re-posted 11/2/2008.
Re-posted 11/2/2009.
Re-posted 11/2/2010.
Re-posted 11/2/2012.
Re-posted 11/2/2013.
Re-posted 11/2/2014.
Re-posted 11/2/2015.
Re-posted 11/2/2016.
Re-posted 11/2/2017.
Re-posted 11/2/2018.
Re-posted 11/2/2019.
Re-posted 11/2/2020.

Monday, November 01, 2021

November 2021 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:

People who suffer from depression. We pray that people who suffer from depression or burn-out will find support and a light that opens them up to life.

A reflection for this intention is found here. 

Today's Hymn


The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs 
by Fra Angelico

The words are from the pen of William Walsham How; the tune to which this is sung, Sine Nomine, was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Note how well this compares to all of today's Readings.

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For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the apostles' glorious company,
who bearing forth the cross o'er land and sea,
shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
is fair and fruitful, be thy Name adored.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,
saw the bright crown descending from the sky,
and seeing, grasped it, thee we glorify.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
and win, with them the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of glory passes on his way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
and singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

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All you holy men and women, pray for us.

Where they are, we hope to follow.

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Originally posted 11/1/2006.
Re-posted 11/1/2009.
Re-posted 11/1/2011.
Re-posted 11/1/2012.
Re-posted 11/1/2013.
Re-posted 11/1/2014.
Re-posted 11/1/2015.
Re-posted 11/1/2016.
Re-posted 11/1/2017.
Re-posted 11/1/2018.
Re-posted 11/1/2019.
Re-posted 11/1/2020.