“O Antiphons” of Advent
One of my favorite Advent traditions, in essence, a countdown to Christmas is the—”O Antiphons” of Advent— which begin on December 17 and conclude on Christmas Eve. If you would like to pray along with the Church, I have enclosed the prayers below, or pray along each day on the Diocese of Fall River Facebook page.
The “O Antiphon” Prayers
O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.
O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai Mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.
O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.
O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of Heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.
O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.
O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God. ~From Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers
An interesting curiosity regarding the “O Antiphons.” If we take the first letter of the invocations in Latin—Sapientia, (Wisdom), Adonai, (Lord of Might), Radix (Root/Rod of Jesse), Clavis, (Key of David) Oriens, (Dawn/Dayspring), Rex Gentium (King of the Nations), Emmanuel, (God with Us) and reverse the order they will form the Latin phase—ERO CRAS. A phrase that means “Tomorrow, I will be,” or “Tomorrow, I will come.” And indeed, on the day after we conclude the “O Antiphons,” we celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior.
Supporting the Homeless
I want to let you know about a significant challenge grant opportunity that, if met, could go a long way in supporting one of our homeless shelters. Recently, the George and Marie Chabot Foundation’s Trustees issued the Diocese a challenge that could ultimately provide $150,000 for St. Joseph’s House Shelter in Hyannis—but we must raise the first $30,000.
St. Joseph’s House Shelter provides emergency shelter for hundreds of men and women every year, as well as a Day Program that offers respite from the streets, resources, skill-building activities, and caring support. The funds we are raising will help to strengthen St. Joseph’s House services, improving the program’s staffing, equipment, and furnishings, as well as supporting the program’s operations and its Winter Overflow response. That response provides additional emergency shelter beds on cold evenings that are 28 degrees or below.
Our goal is to raise the $30,000 match by December 31, 2022. With our match in hand, the Chabot Foundation will then disburse its first installment of $30,000, thus providing $60,000 to St. Joseph’s House by the start of the New Year. Successive disbursements will follow, reaching, in the end, a total of $150,000 in financial support for the shelter.
Donations may be made via check payable to the Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts (memo: St. Joseph’s House) and sent to 450 Highland Avenue, Fall River, MA 02720, or online at https://www.cssdioc.org/monetary-giftsonline-donation/.
Peak: Planning Summit – One-on-One Discipleship
The Peak: Planning Summit featuring Everett Fritz will take place on January 7th as part of the Diocese’s continuing participation in the National Eucharistic Revival, which you may recall is the U.S. Bishops’ three-year grassroots movement to revive devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
This leadership event will help answer some important questions on how we can truly embrace this grace-filled time and guide people to a deeper relationship with our Eucharistic Lord. Everett Fritz will discuss—why is one-on-one discipleship important? How can you, as a catechist, DRE, youth leader, or simply an individual, engage with others to share the Good News, “One Disciple at a Time?” And…what next steps can our parish take after we’ve made those initial connections?
The January 7th, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. gathering at St. John Neumann Parish in East Freetown includes Mass, continental breakfast, lunch, training, discussion, and materials. The cost is $30 per person, and the registration can be found here.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha