Seven Prayers

Medieval Latin Codex

Incipit page of The Wisdom of Solomon from the Codex Gigas (Image: Podlažice Monastery)

This is the last full week before Christmas, and it is a particularly difficult one for all of us. We are in mourning and we are in shock.

I’d planned a series of posts this week on the O Antiphons: the prayers that will be chanted each night this week at Vespers in monasteries around the world in anticipation of Christmas. These prayers take on a  new poignancy this week.

The first, sung tonight, is for wisdom:

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other,
mightily and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

For in the midst of a cacophony of voices, each claiming to have the answer to all our problems, we need wisdom more than ever. The kind of wisdom not found in easy answers, trite platitudes, or cheap political slogans. We need the wisdom that comes only through serious thought, reflection, and prayer.

The O Antiphons are also the basis of the Advent carol O Come, Emmanuel. So each day this week, I’ll be posting a different rendition of this carol (via YouTube). May it serve as both a litany and a memorial:

December 17

 Advent calendar graphics by Oh My Gluestick. They are intended for personal use only and may not be used commercially.

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