Friday, December 19, 2008

The Last Seven Days...

... of Advent before Christmas Eve are in some traditions, marked by the Great 'O' Antiphons. What follows is extracted from a recent service I led focusing on these, and is effectively a series of seven prayers/petitions and a closing thought type bit. Also as the the third December born Advent blogger to have chosen to post on their birthday, all the best ideas had already gone, but I'm glad to discover Lucy is wise and I'm radical!!! (I'm sure Craig could be equally connected if only the dates allowed it).

Hope these are helpful.

In the darkness of winter, we anticipate the coming of light
In the brokenness of sin, we seek the healing of redemption
In the patience of waiting, we journey expectantly

Sapientia - Wisdom

Come, wisdom of God – open our hearts and minds to recognise our need for fresh understanding and new insights.

O Sapientia, come to us, this advent tide, as we look at a broken and disordered world and find ourselves bewildered and bruised, in need of the wisdom you bring.

Adonai - Lord
Come, Lord – bringer of justice for those trampled underfoot by human greed and selfishness; show us how we, too, may be bringers of hope.

O Adonai, come to us, this advent tide, as we long for peace in a world afflicted by sin, we need the justice you alone can bring.

Radix Jesse – Root of Jesse
Come, Root of Jesse, bringer of new life and new hope, enliven our hearts and minds to the new possibilities you bring us.
O Radix Jesse, come to us this advent tide, feed and refresh us, that we may grow in faith and maturity, bearing fruit worthy of our calling.

Clavis David – Key of David

Come, Key of David, unlocking the way to freedom and fulfilment, set us free so that we may bring freedom and hope to others.

O Clavis David, come to us this advent tide, release us from selfishness and send us out to release other captives.

Oriens – Dayspring/Dawn

Come, Dayspring from on high, bring light to the darkness of loneliness, despair, anxiety, grief and pain, leading us, step by step into wholeness.
O Oriens, come to us this advent tide; consume the darkness within and without, and let righteousness shine in our lives.

Rex Gentium – King of the nations
Come, King of the Nations, breaking down barriers between races, ending violence and bringing Shalom. As citizens of your embryonic kingdom, may we serve you faithfully.
O Rex Gentium, come this advent tide, rule in our hearts and lives, and may your Kingdom come on earth, as in heaven.

Emmanuel – God with us
Come, come and be with us, God beyond our understanding. Be born afresh in our hearts, and bring us alive with new hope in Christ, that we, too, might channels of your grace.

O Emmanuel, come to us this advent tide, walk with us in the journeys of our lives, share our joys and sorrows, and bring us safe home to you.

Advent waiting - Ero Cras?

Legend has it, and in a good tradition of sacred writing, the seven great antiphons of Advent can be used in reverse order as an acrostic for another Latin expression, ero cras, which means ‘tomorrow I come’ or ‘tomorrow I will be.’ Whether the legend has any foundation or not, the seven great sayings point explicitly towards Christmas Day, and are traditionally used on the seven days17 to 23 December. In the acrostic, we are left with the enigma of mystery: these seven images point us to Jesus, a baby in a manger, an itinerant preacher and wonder-worker, an executed criminal, a risen and ascended Lord for whose return in glory we wait. We wait for Christmas, we wait for the God who comes – we wait for the Lord, whose day is near.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

Happy Birthday! Hope you have a great day - you must have stayed up to see your birthday in!
Thanks for posting these thought provoking prayers/reflection on the nature of the advent Christ.