Fourth Sunday of Advent
Special Prayers for our final days of Advent.
Beginning on December 17, as the final phase of preparation for Christmas, the Church sings. The “O” Antiphons, as the are affectionately called, help us to make the rejoicing we heard this past weekend, resound within us and throughout the world. The “O” Antiphons precede the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of Hours (the prayer of the church reciting every day – as part of the promises made by religious, priests, and deacons.
The “O”Antiphons express the Church’s longing and expectation for the Messiah. the church resonates the wonderment of the Christ-Child, grace and mercy have met and are revealed. It is Christ who is: Justice and Mercy, the New Covenant, King and Redeemer, Emmanuel – God with us, who is made known in Mary’s Womb and in the Manger. The whole world rejoices and the prophecy is fulfilled.
History tells us that the Benedictine Monks arranged these anitphons with a defined purpose. If one looks at the titles in order (as shown below) starting with the first letters of each, the word, Ero Cras, in Latin is formed, meaning “Tomorrow, I will come.”
December 20: O Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness!
December 21: 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.
December 22: O King of all nations and keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
December 23: O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God!
The final days lead to the rejoicing of the manger. The Lord Jesus, whom Advent has prepared us, is expressed with a seven-fold title proper to Him as Messiah. These days should help us to meditate on Him as He truly is and the may the grace of each day teach us to be filled with wonder and love as we shall come to adore him.
Thank you for your witness during these holy days of Advent. Thank you for the extra works of charity for the poor, the sick, the homeless and those most in need. Thank you for all you do in Christ’s name. I am grateful to be here with you and pray the Good Lord teach us serve Him, love Him and be with Him forever.
LINK TO TOTAL COLLECTION AND TOTAL ATTENDANCE CHART IN DECEMBER 7, 2014 BULLETIN.