A Note from Pastor (December 2023)

The beautiful Latin hymn, “Veni Emmanuel,” which we know as in English, as “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” is a paraphrase of the great “O” antiphons of the western church dating back to the sixth century. The “O” antiphons appear from the 17th of December until the 23rd and are sung before or after the Magnificat at vespers or in place of the alleluia verses during the daily mass in Roman Catholic churches.
    Each of the antiphons begins with a word used by the prophet Isaiah to describe the coming Messiah.  “O Emmanuel” means “God with us” in Hebrew.  “O Rex” means “King” in Latin. “O Oriens” means “Radiant Dawn,” or “Rising Sun” or even “Morning Star,” in Latin.  “O Clavis” means “Key” and “O Radix”, also a Latin word meaning “Root.” “O Adonai” is the Hebrew word for “Lord.” Finally, “O Sapientia,” means “Wisdom” in Latin.
    What is interesting is that the letters are an acrostic which forms the Latin phrase, “ERO CROS” which means, “Tomorrow, I will be there.”  As Advent is a season where we focus on the prophesied incarnation of our Lord Jesus, these prayers sung by the church shortly before the celebration of Christmas and the birth of Christ are particularly meaningful.  
    Remembering that we also see Advent as a penitential season in preparation for our Lord’s second coming and His return in glory, the thought that, “Tomorrow, I will be there” is especially compelling!  May the Lord grant you a beautiful and blessed Advent season as we pray and look forward to our Lord’s returning soon.    

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