Dec 21 — Winter Solstice 5th O Antiphon “O Oriens”

Sunday  December 21 – “ to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.”

At Detroit’s latitude we will have 9 hours and 3 minutes of daylight, 14 hours and 57 minutes of night time.  Our shortest day.   Today’s O’Antiphon, “O Oriens” (“O Rising Sun”) tells us that the long-ago writers of these sung blessings for Advent’s last days lived in the northern hemisphere.  Deeper & deeper into the days of diminishing light they sing to human longing for liberation and dawn.  Tomorrow the day will be 3 minutes longer (I think that’s accurate), the dawn of the majestic march of sunrise back from it’s southern-most point of Oriens.

O Dayspring
splendour of light and sun of justice:
Come and bring light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.”

These days are full of tenderness, of  giving and hospitality, of forgiving old wounds, of allowing someone to forgive and welcome me when our connection had been wounded.   Days, too, of longing for the healing of the world’s wounds,   days of taking our places in the fatigue and longings of the whole human family.    

            Daring days of courage.    “O Oriens” is quite a prayer.  

Have a good day,


john sj

Dec 21 – 5th Antiphon   O Oriens – O Dayspring


Today’s Post:  “O Dayspring”

To listen to the Antiphon sung in Gregorian Chant  —>

December 21: O Dayspring

O Oriens

First light and then first lines along the east
To touch and brush a sheen of light on water
As though behind the sky itself they traced
The shift and shimmer of another river
Flowing unbidden from its hidden source;
The Day-Spring, the eternal Prima Vera.
Blake saw it too. Dante and Beatrice
Are bathing in it now, away upstream…
So every trace of light begins a grace
In me, a beckoning. The smallest gleam
Is somehow a beginning and a calling;
“Sleeper awake, the darkness was a dream
For you will see the Dayspring at your waking,
Beyond your long last line the dawn is breaking”.

~Malcolm Guite

Malcolm Guite

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