The Lord is at hand: come, let us adore him.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
quæ ex ore Altíssimi prodísti,
attíngens a fine usque ad finem,
fórtiter suavitérque dispónens ómnia:
veni ad docéndum nos viam prudéntiæ.
“O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High. You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner. O come to teach us the way of truth.”
As the great feast of Christmas approaches, its light begins to blot out the lights of the individual days, as planets are blotted out when they appear too close to the Sun. The great “O Antiphons” at Vespers are worth celebrating even if Vespers itself is not part of your daily pattern. They count down the last seven days before Christmas and tie together seven threads of hope, longing and doctrine which all find their culmination and final union in the moment of the Incarnation.
Jesus is the Word and Wisdom of God. As Isaiah says, “On him the spirit of the Lord rests, a spirit of wisdom and insight, a spirit of counsel and power.”
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: Pope St Leo the Great (- 461)|
Leo was born in Etruria and became Pope in 440. He was a true shepherd and father of souls. He constantly strove to keep the faith whole and strenuously defended the unity of the Church. He repelled the invasions of the barbarians or alleviated their effects, famously persuading Attila the Hun not to march on Rome in 452, and preventing the invading Vandals from massacring the population in 455.
Leo left many doctrinal and spiritual writings behind and a number of them are included in the Office of Readings to this day. He died in 461.
|Liturgical colour: violet|
Violet is a dark colour, ‘the gloomy cast of the mortified, denoting affliction and melancholy’. Liturgically, it is the colour of Advent and Lent, the seasons of penance and preparation.
|Other notes: Advent, Part II|
From today the prayers and readings take on a different nature.
In the first half of Advent we count forwards: first week, second week, and so on, paying attention to Advent Sunday, the day when Advent started.
Now the second half of Advent has begun, and Advent Sunday is forgotten: it is Christmas Day that matters. Today is the eighth day before Christmas, tomorrow is the seventh day, and so on. The prayers follow this countdown, and the final readings from Isaiah build up to their climax.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Isaiah 4:2 ©|
That day, the branch of the Lord shall be beauty and glory, and the fruit of the earth shall be the pride and adornment of Israel’s survivors.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Isaiah 4:3 ©|
Those who are left of Zion and remain of Jerusalem shall be called holy and those left in Jerusalem, noted down for survival.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Isaiah 61:11 ©|
As the earth makes fresh things grow, as a garden makes seeds spring up, so will the Lord make both integrity and praise spring up in the sight of the nations.