Editor’s Note: The Great “O” Antiphons are ancient songs sung during Vespers on the days leading up to Christmas. Over the next seven days, the Rev. William Weedon will provide short meditations on the antiphons.
December 17 O Sapientia!
At Vespers tonight, the Magnificat is framed by the first of the Great “O” Antiphons.
O Wisdom, proceeding from the mouth of the Most High,(LSB 357)
pervading and permeating the whole creation,
mightily ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.
Listen to Chaplain Daenzer sing it here.
Our Lord is Logos; the very logic of the universe itself is disclosed in Him, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The key to life itself is not found anywhere else but in the Exemplar by whose wisdom we were made: the Eternal Word and Son of the Father. Why are you here? What is the purpose and meaning of life? What sort of life is really life and not just vanity? These all find their answers in Him alone, in our Lord Jesus (2 Cor. 1:20). The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all they that keep His commandments (Prov. 1:7). His praise endures forever (Psalm 111:10)!
It is said that on this day in the monasteries, the librarian might have a special gift to give to the other brothers. He was recognized as the keeper of wisdom. He got to intone this first of the Great “O” Antiphons, which mark the final tilt of Advent toward the great joy of the Christmas Feast.
O come, Thou Wisdom from on high(LSB 357:2)
Who ord’rest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!