What would Jesus do that would be of ongoing benefit to his disciples? At the Last Supper he left them a covenant, a new testament, in his Body and Blood made possible by his death on the cross. After he rose from the dead he appeared to two of his disciples and he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. “And their eyes were opened.” What did Jesus’ disciples do? “They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
The “O Antiphons” are the source of the Advent hymn, “Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel.”
They are prayers for each day during the Octave before Christmas Eve.
Monday, Dec. 17 – Sapientia – Wisdom (Isaiah 11:2-3)
Tuesday, Dec. 18 – Adonai – Lord of Israel (Isaiah 11:4-5)
Wednesday, Dec. 19 – Radix Jesse – Root of Jesse (Isaiah 11:10)
Thursday, Dec. 20 – Clavis David – Key of David (Isaiah 22:22)
Friday, Dec. 21 – Oriens – Radiant Dawn, Dayspring (Is. 9:2)
Saturday, Dec. 22 – Rex Gentium – King of all Nations (Is. 9:7)
Sunday, Dec. 23 – Emmanuel – God with us (Isaiah 7:14)
What a busy time. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber-Monday. Creeping in quietly in this list, last Sunday – Ad te levávi – the beginning of the church year.
More than ever there is need for renewal – in our repentance for pushing God out of our lives and schedules. Especially, renewal in God’s mercy that we receive together with God’s people in the blessed Eucharist.
The first week of Advent is a plea for God to deliver us from our sins. We pray that He show us His ways and teach us His paths. As we approach the celebration of the blessed Incarnation of the Son of God we approach too our redemption. Our redemption is at hand. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Our salvation is nearer than when we believed.
Four weeks in Advent. Undoubtedly overshadowed by the Christ-Mass. Still, no reason to neglect now the words of the Lord nor His coming and nearness to us in the blessed sacrament, our daily sustenance.
This is a good time for renewal, a good time to step aside from the all the entertainment, especially in the Church, and, in preparation, receive the Lord’s mercy in the midst of His temple.
We need to be “C” and “E” Christians. Not what we commonly understand as being those who attend church only at Christmas and Easter. Rather we need to see and uphold the “C”reed and the “E”ucharist as essential to the faith and the liturgy. The Creed is the summary of the faith we have by divine revelation, that God is One, the Holy Trinity, and Jesus is incarnate. He has come in the flesh for our salvation. The Eucharist is the fulfillment of God’s gift of salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice and death, Christ’s Body and Blood given and shed for us. The Creed sums up what we are given in God’s Word and the Eucharist sums up the divine life we are given here, the Bride’s foretaste of the feast to come. The faith is an everyday thing and this is our prayer in the liturgy. The Church in this world needs more “C” and “E” Christians.
WELCOME to the website for THE BRIDE OF CHRIST: The Journal of Lutheran Liturgical Renewal (BOC). This website is dedicated to Lutheran Liturgical Renewal and the publication of THE BRIDE OF CHRIST.
On this site you will find information about our new “online” journal coming out at Advent 2010, subscribing, sponsoring, membership, submitting manuscripts and more. Join us as we begin work on Volume XXX of “THE BRIDE OF CHRIST: The Journal of Lutheran Liturgical Renewal.”
Rev. Fr. Timothy D. May