Friday, December 17, 2010

The "O" Antiphons - New Chapel in the Archbishop's Residence

O ANTIPHON - O Sapientia...

O Wisdom, you came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and reached from end to end, and disposed of all things sweetly and mightily: come and teach us the way of prudence!

Advent Prayer for December 17

O God, Creator and Redeemer of human nature, who willed that your Word should take flesh in an ever-virgin womb, look with favour on our prayers, that your Only Begotten Son, having taken to himself our humanity, may be pleased to grant us a share in his divinity. Who lives and reigns with you.

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O Sapientia * quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

THE Church enters to-day on the seven days which precede the Vigil of Christmas, and which are known in the liturgy under the name of the Greater Ferias.

The ordinary of the Advent Office becomes more solemn; the antiphons of the psalms, both for Lauds and the Hours of the day, are proper, and allude expressly to the great coming.

Every day, at Vespers, is sung a solemn antiphon, consisting of a fervent prayer to the Messias, whom it addresses by one of the titles given Him in the sacred Scriptures.

In the Roman Church's liturgy, there are seven of these antiphons, one for each of the greater ferias. They are commonly called the O’s of Advent, because they all begin with that interjection.

In other Churches, during the middle ages, two more were added to these seven; one to our blessed Lady, O Virgo virginum; and the other to the angel Gabriel, O Gabriel; or to St. Thomas the apostle, whose feast comes during the greater ferias; it began O Thorna Didjme.

There were even Churches where twelve great antiphons were sung; that is, besides the nine we have just mentioned, O Rex Pacifice to our Lord, O mundi Domina to our Lady, and O Hierusalem to the city of the people of God.

The canonical Hour of Vespers has been selected as the most appropriate time for this solemn supplication to our Saviour, because, as the Church sings in one of her hymns, it was in the evening of the world (vergente mundi vespere) that the Messias came amongst us.

These antiphons are sung at the Magnificat, to show us that the Saviour whom we expect is to come to us by Mary. They are sung twice, once before and once after the canticle, as on double feasts, and this to show their great solemnity. In some Churches it was formerly the practice to sing them thrice ; that is, before the canticle, before the Gloria Patri, and after the Sicut erat.

Lastly, these admirable antiphons, which contain the whole pith of the Advent liturgy, are accompanied by a chant replete with melodious gravity, and by ceremonies of great expressiveness, though, in these latter, there is no uniform practice followed.

Let us enter into the spirit of the Church; let us reflect on the great day which is coming; that thus we may take, our share in these the last and most earnest solicitations of the Church imploring her Spouse to come, to which He at length yields. --Abbott Prosper Louis Paschal Guéranger, O.S.B

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Since the death of Mgr Roger Lariviere in March, a sitting cum newspaper reading room on the second floor of the archiepiscopal residence had been little used. Exploring options within the life of our small community, the determination was made to move the small chapel where my staff and I have occasion to celebrate early morning Mass most weekday mornings to this room.

Our in-house maintenance and renewal personnel Luc Louisseize and his brother Paul agreed to tackle this project which meant new flooring and lighting, glazing of the windows and a new configuration for the chapel.  The tabernacle was moved from the former chapel and new appointments were acquired. Msgr. Beach supervised the project. It is a beautiful chapel for visits to the Blessed Sacraments and Mass.

Late last week, the first Mass was concelebrated; several photos were taken before the formal transition:

The earlier, more compact chapel

In the new chapel, the altar with the tabernacle centred behind

My original coat of arms in stained glass

Some of the seating

Luc Louisseize with the statue of St. Joseph over his shoulder


Msgr Beach before the Lady statue

1 comment:

  1. Greetings Your Grace,

    Looking at the new Altar and placement of the marble slab enclosing the relic. Is the altar setup for Ad Orientem? :)

    It looks like it is.

    God Bless,