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December 18th Newsletter

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Dear DaySpringers,

Grace and peace be with you this day. As we head into the final days of Advent, I’ve been remembering the legacy of the O Antiphons in Christian prayer. Most of us know this tradition best through our most beloved Advent hymn, O Come, O Come Emmanuel. Yet even those of us who are very familiar with the hymn may not have fully realized the full scope of the hymn’s background. The other verses give a clue: O come, thou DaySpring; O come, thou Wisdom from on high; O come, Desire of nations. These are various names for the Messiah and all are verses from a 9th century Latin poem which originally included seven verses, each of which following the same pattern. The poetry was, and is, used during the final days of the Advent season. From December 17 to December 23, each day is designated by one of the antiphons.  So it looks like this in Latin (and English):
  • 17 December: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
  • 18 December: O Adonai (O Lord)
  • 19 December: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jessee)
  • 20 December: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
  • 21 December: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
  • 22 December: O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)
  • 23 December: O Emmanuel (O God with Us)
You can find the full verses on line in many places and I encourage you to do so if you’re interested in praying with the antiphons through the end of Advent. I just want to point out one more feature of this Advent prayer. Make an anagram of the first letter of the latin names beginning from last to first and you have Ero Cras, which translates to Tomorrow, I Come.  
Given that (SIGH) we live in a world in which Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, not only survived for 25 years but now is #1 in the country (, we could use some other options in our music. If you’re hungry for some alternatives to that and had enough too of I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, here are a couple of alternatives for your Spotify or your CD purchasing:
  • On Yoolis Night—Medieval Carols and Motets. I’ve been listening to this all morning
  • Assisi Christmas Contatas by Werner Ehrardt. I listened to this all last evening
  • Advent with Sacred Ordinary Days—a Spotify playlist compiled by Jen Kemper. It’s been on my repeat all month
Blessings to you in these last days of waiting,

For more news and information, click HERE for the December 18th newsletter.
Posted by Eric Howell