Category Archives: Theology and Spirituality

O Antiphon (December 23)—O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, God with us,
Our King and Lawgiver,
the expected of the nations and their Saviour:


to save us, O Lord our God. Amen.

O Emmanuel,
Rex et legisfer noster,
expectatio gentium, et Salvator erum:


ad salvandum nos, Domine Deus noster.

O Antiphon (December 22)—O Rex Gentium

O King of the Gentiles and their desired One,
the Cornerstone that makes both one:


and deliver man,
whom you formed out of the dust of the earth. Amen.

O Rex gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unem:


et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.

O Antiphon (December 21)—O Oriens

O Dawn of the East,
Brightness of light eternal,
And Sun of Justice:


And enlighten those who sit in darkness
And in the shadow of death. Amen.

O Oriens,
splendor lucis aeternae,
et sol justitiae:


et illumina sedentis in tenebris,
et umbra mortis.

O Antiphon (December 20)—O Clavis David

O Key of David, And Sceptre of the House of Israel,
Who opens and no man shuts, Who shuts and no man opens:


And bring forth the captive from his prison,
He who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death. Amen.

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel:
qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit:


et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Antiphon (December 19)—O Radix Jesse

O Root of Jesse,
that stands for an ensign of the people,
before whom the kings keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication:


to deliver us, and tarry not. Amen.

O Radix Jesse,
qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur;


ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardere.

O Antiphon (December 18)—O Adonai

O Lord and Ruler of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:


and redeem us with outstretched arms. Amen.

O Adonai, et dux domus Israel,
qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:


ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

O Antiphon (December 17)—O Sapienta

O Wisdom,
Who came from the mouth of the Most High,
Reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly:


and teach us the way of prudence. Amen.

O Sapientia,
quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter,
suaviterque disponens omnia:


ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

It’s time for the O Antiphons!

So, I was going to write about how I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue to post my traditional O Antiphons for Advent, because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue to write on this blog and how I eventually decided to post them anyways because maybe I’m not ready to be done here…and then I discovered that I wrote the same thing last year.

Apparently, it’s not been an easy stretch in my life.

But, still, hope flickers, like a guttering candle, that I will continue to write here. Or, at least, today is not the day to decide otherwise.

And, thus, the O Antiphons.

I will steal from my previous post:

For those of you who don’t know, I have a rule for this blog (that I’m pretty sure I’ve successfully maintained) that I may only use text. No pictures, no YouTube embeds, nothing but text.

So, when it’s time to decorate for Christmas, I decorate using words. Specifically, the O Antiphon prayers that are the basis for the carol “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”.

I’ve already scheduled the appropriate posts, and they will appear around 5:00 pm (CST), which would be around the time of Vespers, when these prayers are offered. Each prayer goes with a particular day, and they lead up to Christmas Eve. Each is a reflection on a particular aspect of what Jesus came to do in his first advent and what He will do in His second advent.

I’m also including links to the various antiphons being chanted. Click on the Latin version, and you’ll be able to hear the chant. (Thanks to the Fish Eaters website, where I found these files.)

I won’t lie; this has been a pretty hard year: the latest in a series of hard years. You know, just like last year, and the year before that, and the year before that…. Honestly, I’m tired of even talking about it.

And so, the promise of a coming King who will set all things to right has become more precious this year. He is still good and strong and wise. How could I not follow Him?

Quote of the moment

From “The Return to the Bible” by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

From the moment that philosophy was given the place of revelation in our studies and in our pulpits, things really began to go wrong. Of course, for a time, people continued to attend church and chapel in fairly large numbers, partly out of mere habit and custom, without realizing exactly what was happening, but we can be perfectly certain that the Church lost her authority and power from the moment that she ceased to believe firmly in the authority of the Word of God, and when she became doubtful and hesitant in her presentation of its doctrines to the people.

From the moment that the idea began to gain currency that the Bible was the history of the quest of mankind for God, rather than God’s revelation of Himself and the only way of salvation to mankind, the Church began to decline and to wane in her influence and in her power. From the time the Church threw overboard the great evangelical doctrines, and substituted for them a belief in the moral and spiritual evolution of mankind, and began to preach a social gospel rather than a personal salvation — from that moment church attendance really became a mere matter of form, or a merely pleasant way of gratifying one’s appetite for ceremony, ritual, oratory, and music.

HT: John D. (though he doesn’t know it yet)

For Further Comment: BATMAN V SUPERMAN Review: Zack Snyder’s Doomsday

A few days ago, I posted a link to this article about the new Batman vs. Superman movie. Based on a response or two, I wrote about the connection between Superman, father hunger, and the rise of American demagoguery. I was pleased with how it turned out, so I’m posting it here, slightly edited.

First, a disclaimer: I haven’t seen the movie Batman vs. Superman, never intended on seeing it, and probably never will. Also, Christopher Nolan’s run on Batman has spoiled me for any other Batman.

That said, I posted this review because it seemed well-written, especially regarding our ongoing inability to “get” Superman. I’ll totally allow that I find Superman to be a boring character, but trying to make him into a brooding character seems like a symptom of our cynical age. It’s like we can’t believe that someone that powerful could genuinely be good. Power must corrupt, right?

I would connect all of this with father hunger. So many of us learned early on that their dad couldn’t be trusted. And why should he be trusted? After all, he was a brute, or violent, or gone. That void festers in the soul, leading us to a fundamental distrust (or even active violence) against authority figures of any sort.

This seems to be what happened in Man of Steel (another movie I’ll admit I’ve not seen). Rather than Superman being a loving authority figure (i.e. not one of us), he’s remade into a wandering orphan (i.e. one of us). I think this is why a lot of the Superman fans I saw online really hated this movie; they understand that Superman is supposed to fill the void of father hunger, not be afflicted by it.

(As an aside, if you want to understand what Superman fans like about him, this comic seems like a good thing to check out.)

This whole issue spills over into our relationship with government and church. Sure, let’s allow that both institutions have managed in various ways to earn that reputation. Yet still, our adolescent kicking against any authority leaves us vulnerable to predators and demagogues, who fill that void in ways that are dangerous to us.

(Did I just draw a line from our handling of Superman to Trump and Sanders? I think so!)

Deep down, I think that we all struggle with two warring impulses. The first is the savage howl of victory, as we cast off our fathers in triumph, asserting that we will stand alone. The second is the plaintive cry of a child, wondering if Daddy is ever coming home. For some of us, the abandonment came first. For others, the bitter anger. But these two emotions swirl in our hearts, and they rush out at the oddest times.

Like, say, the release of a superhero film.