Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and the waiting of Advent will be over.
This last Advent Antiphon is 'O Emmanuel'. Like the others on the preceding 6 days it is appropriate to sing this as a response to the Magnificat at Evening Prayer.
Emmanuel is a name given to Jesus and means 'God with us'.
One English translation of the O Emmanuel response prayer is:
our King and Lawgiver,
the Expected of the Nations and their Savior,
come to save us, O Lord our God.There is a hidden message in the Latin titles of the O Antiphons. In reverse order they are:
If you take the 1st letter of each title in reverse as I have set them out above, starting with today's, then you find spelt out the Latin words 'Ero Cras'. In English this means 'Tomorrow I come'. I love the sense of expectancy in that phrase, not just because tomorrow night Christmas begins but also because it kindles a sense of hope of a better tomorrow in God's renewal of all creation.
Malcolm Guite's sonnet inspired by the O Emmanuel antiphon explores the meaning of 'God with us' and cleverly weaves in allusions to the other O Antiphons of Advent. It also looks forward to a new birth for all humanity and a new creation. It has become one of my favourite prayer-poems for Christmas.
O come, O come, and be our God-with-us
O long-sought With-ness for a world without,
O secret seed, O hidden spring of light.
Come to us Wisdom, come unspoken Name
Come Root, and Key, and King, and holy Flame,
O quickened little wick so tightly curled,
Be folded with us into time and place,
Unfold for us the mystery of grace
And make a womb of all this wounded world.
O heart of heaven beating in the earth,
O tiny hope within our hopelessness
Come to be born, to bear us to our birth,
To touch a dying world with new-made hands
And make these rags of time our swaddling bands.
Here is this last of the great Advent O Antiphons, sung in Latin together with the Magnificat and with some lovely images.
Image Credit: Sharing Horizons