Shortest Day of the Year

I don't like long nights and short days, so I'm grateful not to live further north than I do. Here in the Northern Hemisphere today is the one with the shortest hours of daylight. After today we look forward to gradually lengthening days.

So it seems fitting that the Advent Antiphon said or sung today before the Magnificat at Vespers in some Christian traditions is 'O Oriens' meaning 'O Rising Sun' (or Morning Star or Day Star). It is inspired by these words from Isaiah:
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness - on them lights has shined." Isaiah 9:2
Here is one English translation of the original Latin words of 'O Oriens':
"O Day Star, 
splendour of eternal lightand son of justice: 
Come, and illumuninate those who are sitting in darkness 
and in the shadow of death.
And here is one sung version together with Mary's Song (the Magnificat).

Image Credit: Commons Wikimedia


  1. Wonderful, Nancy. I love plainsong and this was perfect to ponder at the end of the shortest day.


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