THE O ANTIPHONS and the Beatles: Great Secrets Revealed?

First, I mean no disrespect—but if you are a theologian or a historian or a liturgist, please pop in here to explain something for me.I’ve been reading about the O ANTIPHONS, those profound anticipatory verses from Isaiah which, in the Catholic tradition, are read at Vespers from December 17 through December 23, leading up to the Christmas season.  Lovely prayers, most certainly!  But over and over in the literature, as an after-note, I read that the first letters of the seven Antiphons, wh … [Read more...]

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I LOVE THE ROSE CANDLE! The Significance of Gaudete Sunday

How often a good idea finds expression in the rich liturgy and tradition of the Church!GAUDETE SUNDAY is a case in point.  The word gaudete (pronounced gow dĕ’ tā)—Latin for “rejoice”—is actually the first word of the Introit (Entrance antiphon) of the Mass for that day.  And rejoice, we do!But first, about ADVENT:  The word means “coming” or “arrival”; and during the four weeks of Advent, we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas.  The air is rife with expecta … [Read more...]

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THE GARGOYLE AND THE STEEPLE: On the Outside, Looking In

 Look up, look around.  That’s what we do, really, we Christians, during this Advent season.  We look up to our heavenly Father, and to the Son Who came to us in Bethlehem as a tiny baby, and Who comes to us still today.  And we look around at the world in which we live—at the still, expectant winter nights, rich with promise; and at the people whose love shapes us, and who we celebrate later this month with gifts from the heart.Malcolm Muggeridge, the British journalist and satirist, wrote … [Read more...]

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