Saturday, December 16, 2006

O Wisdom from on high

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Sunday the "Great O" antiphons on the Magnificat begin. I shall post them day-by-day from both the Latin translation and the more familiar version in the Advent Carol (#59 in the Hymnal 1982).

Latin translation of O Sapientia
O Wisdom, which camest out of the mouth of the Most High, and reachest from one end to another, mightily and sweetly ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of prudence.

Advent Carol
O come, thou Wisdom from on high, who orderest all things mightily; to us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice, rejoice. Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

The antiphon today is based on the description of Wisdom in Sirach 24. In the New Testament, Christ is called "the power of God and the wisdom of God" who is wise as well as righteous on our behalf (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30). St. Paul also describes Jesus as involved in creation, as Wisdom was described as active in creation in the Old Tetsament (see Proverbs 8). "He is before all things," St Paul wrote, "and in him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17).

King Solomon asked for wisdom above all, as the most precious gift of God. It was said in the Old Testament that the Messiah would be full of wisdom (Isaiah 11:2). In Jewish philosphical theology, the wisdom of God was equated with the divine Logos, or "Word" which St John said was "made flesh and dwelt among us" in the person of Jesus (John 1:14). It is also significant that Jesus is visited by wise men at his birth, is found as a boy with the teachers in the Temple, and as an adult marvels others by teaching on his own authority. Jesus possibly referred to himself as the Wisdom of God in Matthew 11:9; 12:42; and in Luke 7:35; 11:31.

There are several variations on the lists and texts in Western rite uses. Here's what's coming in the most common uses between now and the Eve of the Nativity:
December 18: O Adonai (Lord)
December 19: O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse)
December 20: O clavis David (Key of David)
December 21: O Oriens Splendor (Dawn)
December 22: O rex gentium (King)
December 23: O Emmanuel (God with us)

The marvelous icon above--"The Birth of God," written by Nicholas Markell--is available for purchase at Bridge Building Images.

1 comment:

Adam said...

You have no idea how complicated it is to transfer pics from the camera to the blog. I have to download 400 pictures every time and then delete them all except the ones I want. Do you know of a way to do it more efficiently?

But I will attempt to get a pic of the rose set. Fr. Thomas is really touchy about photographs during the liturgy, but he might let me take a picture of them if throw them over the sacristy counter after Mass or something. It is not the light pink like the chasuble you recently completed, but a darker, more reddish color.

OH! and if you know of a better way to tansfer pics from a digital camera to a computer, please email me. I would REALLY appreciate the help!