Today, 17th December marks a shift in our season of Advent. No longer do we look towards Christ’s coming at the end of time, but at his coming in the flesh – his birth at Bethlehem.
For those who pray Vespers – the night prayers of the Church – the antiphon mentions many of the titles of Christ, the so-called “O” antiphons. Each antiphon, from now until Christmas Eve, starts with a title of Christ.
They are: O wisdom, O Adonai, O stock of Jesse, O key of David, O rising star, O king of nations and O Immanuel.
Interestingly, if we take the first letter of these titles, when written in Latin, they form a countdown…the letters spelt out backwards from Christmas eve spell out the words “ero cras” which means “I will exist/come tomorrow.”
The Latin tiles are O Sapientia, O Adonai, O Radix Jesse, O Clavis David, O Oriens, O Rex gentium and O Emmanuel.
The full antiphons are given here.
This Sunday is the solemnity of All Saints!
“Today, by your gift we celebrate the festival of your city, the heavenly Jerusalem, our mother, where the great array of our brothers and sisters already gives you eternal praise. Towards her, we eagerly hasten as pilgrims advancing by faith, rejoicing in the glory bestowed upon those exulted members of the Church through whom you give us, in our frailty, both strength and good example. And so we glorify you with the multitude of Saints and Angles.”
(Preface of the Mass of All Saints)
APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION OF
POPE PIUS XII
DEFINING THE DOGMA OF THE ASSUMPTION
November 1, 1950
This document infallibly defined, for now and forever, the dogma that “the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory”.
Mary, having been conceived immaculately, was spared the pain of original sin and never succumbed to actual sin. As such, she never received the wages of sin, that is, the corruption of the body at death. No, being so perfect, more perfect than any other human person, she entered heaven in full bodily glory. Today is the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Friday is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and it’s a Holy Day of Obligation: A day when Catholics are asked to show their commitment to the faith by coming to Mass. Mass times in the parish can be found here. It’s also a day when feasting is to be encouraged and so the normal practise of abstaining from meat need not be observed.