December 17, 2021
O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High. You create the universe and hold all things together with strength and sweetness. O come to teach us the way of truth.
Many of us are familiar with the Advent hymn, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, but not as many of us are familiar with the O Antiphons, on which this hymn from 1861 was based. The O Antiphons originated in the Roman Catholic Church sometime between the 6th and 8th centuries as a prelude to Christmas Eve. They are the containers of ancient praise, as relevant now as they were then. Each of the seven antiphons (short refrains) that are used as names for the Christ (or Light, or Love, as you prefer) are sung on the nights between Dec. 17 and Dec. 23 at a service called Vespers. They are matched with their relevant scripture verses and include the following names: O Wisdom, O Lord, O Root of Jesse, O Key of David, O Rising Sun, O King of the Nations, O Emmanuel.
Today, the first antiphon is O Wisdom, taken from this scripture verse from the Old Testament of the Bible: The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear. (Isaiah 11:2-3)
Prayer: In this long season of continuing darkness, pandemic, suspicion, division, fear, doubt, and anger, we seek Wisdom and the way of Truth. O Wisdom, build in us a desire for you and open our hearts to receive you. Quiet us enough to seek your counsel before we respond or act. Help us to stay rooted in you instead of rooting ourselves in the many opinions of this world. Inspire us to listen not only with our minds but even more so with our hearts. Grant us in this season of gift-giving the gift of Wisdom and then embolden us to practice it. May it be so.
“Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel, shall come to thee, O Israel.”
Blessings to you ~ Rosemary firstname.lastname@example.org