17 December 2011

O Sapientia! (Rerun)

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!

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.


Chris said...

Curious, Fr. Weedon, do you ever celebrate Vespers the night before a great feast or even a "regular" Sunday with Matins before? And I'm not talking about a "private" service but one at the church with the congregation?

William Weedon said...


Because we offer the Eucharist also on Saturdays, we do not tend to have a Vespers prior to the great feasts. Well, I suppose the Vigil of Easter is sort of the "mother of Matins and Vespers" in a way. We do do that. AND we celebrate Matins on Easter Morning; Thanksgiving Morning; and generally on Circumcision Morning. We also pray it each Wednesday in Chapel. Vespers we use mostly on Wednesdays - when we pray it during Advent and Lent.

Many times, though, I will pray Vespers in Church on an evening - it's not been unknown for the parishioner straying in to join in. I remember one time coming over for Compline during Lent only to find 3 people sitting in the darkness waiting for the prayers to begin! But private recitation is more the norm, sadly.

David Clapper said...

FWIW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRwCBh1smpU