O, the door!

doorCounting down the final days to Christmas with all of the rush and worry (is your shopping done? Cookies made?) can make us a little frantic and disconnected. Here is a thought for you if you have the time. Paraclete Press sent me a reflection yesterday about the O Antiphons. If you don’t know much about them there is a short explanation below and link to the explanation. If you need a moment of monastery music with chant to meditate and calm down, check out the Youtube video and imagine yourself in a beautiful worship space: O Key of David – Paraclete Press

Yesterday’s O Antiphon really impressed me with the idea of a key:

O key of David and scepter of Israel, what you open no one else can close again; what you close no one can open. O come to lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Jesus is the key, of course. He can open the door and shed some light! This reminds me of one of my favorite Scriptures, too. In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus reads from the scroll in the Temple (Isaiah 61:1). “The spirit of the lord is upon me, because he anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the lord.”

The O Antiphons are about Jesus. I think that we are called to be his hands and feet so we should free whomever we can from darkness and fear. The Year of Mercy may be over but every year is a good time to show mercy!  Open a door! Peace and good will to all! Donna


There are seven short verses sung before the Magnificat during Evening Prayer of the Church on the seven days before the vigil of Christmas. They each begin with the exclamation “O”. Each of them ends with a plea for the Messiah to come. As Christmas approaches the cry becomes more urgent.

The antiphons were composed in the seventh or eighth century when monks put together texts from the Old Testament which looked forward to the coming of our salvation. They form a rich mosaic of scriptural images. These seven verses, or antiphons as they are called, appear to be the originals although from time to time other texts were used. They became very popular in the Middle Ages. While the monastic choirs sang the antiphons the great bells of the church were rung.

Link to O Antiphons: http://tinyurl.com/z3mzeyr



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