17 December 2012

December 17: O Sapientia!

At Vespers tonight the Magnificat is framed by the first of the Great O Antiphons. 

O Wisdom, proceeding from the mouth of the Most High,
pervading and permeating the whole creation,
mightily ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence!

You can hear Pr. Daenzer sing it here:  click.

Our Lord is Logos - the very logic of the universe itself is disclosed in Him, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The key to life itself is not found anywhere else but in the Exemplar by whose wisdom we were made: the Eternal Word and Son of the Father. Why are you here? What is the purpose and meaning of life? What sort of life is really life and not just vanity? These all find their answers in Him alone, in our Lord Jesus. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, a good understanding have all they that keep His commandments. His praise endures forever! 

It is said that on this day in the monasteries, the librarian might have a special gift to give to the other brothers. He was recognized as the Keeper of Wisdom. He got to intone this first of the Great O Antiphons, which mark the final tilt of Advent toward the great joy of the Christmas Feast.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high
Who ord'rest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show
And teach in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.


Dan at Necessary Roughness said...

We will be playing Cantor Beethe's chanting of the O Antiphons at 6:30pm Eastern time each day on Time Out: http://www.lutherantimeout.org

Thanks, Pastor Weedon.

Unknown said...

Fr. Weedon,

Are there any Lutheran congregations who celebrate Vespers daily or maybe every other day that make use of the "O" antiphons? I know you're a big fan of them and they're good hymns and theology (the fact that they are Latin is icing on the cake), but I know of no Lutheran congregation that celebrates Vespers even in the midweek services (it's usually evening prayer or compline).--Chris

William Weedon said...

Dan, go Nathan!

Chis, to us Evening Prayer is but another setting of Vespers, and the O Antiphons may be used before the Magnificat at Evening Prayer as at Vespers. It is a rare Lutheran parish where you find the daily office in full swing; but there are certainly places where it is offered frequently. When I lived next door to the church, I would pray the offices in the church morning, evening and night and occasionally was joined by parishioners. With the advent of Treasury, the use of these liturgies and resources has become more frequent in our homes. I think you'd be surprised at how many pastors and laity of the Lutheran Church follow along with the daily orders and pray the riches found there, very conscious that though "at home" they are anything but private: they are the church's prayer and we simply enter into that prayer wherever we may be. I prayed both Matins and Vespers today, as is my usual. Maybe some other Lutheran blog readers might want to pipe in about their parish and their own personal practice?