The Great Os: December 17 and wisdom

St Hildegarde Scivias manuscript: Wisdom

From Saturday this week (December 17) the liturgy intensifies, with all days being Class II, and set antiphons used at Lauds to Vespers for each day of the week.

Rubrics reminder

The Office between December 17 and December 23 is at its most complex for the year, so just a quick reminder of the essentials:
  • the psalms continue to be those used throughout the year for the appropriate day of the week  as normal (so  for December 17, of Saturday as set out in the psalter section of your Diurnal, or Breviary);
  • the antiphons for the psalms from Lauds to Vespers are for the day of the week between December 17 and 23 (so for Saturday December 17, the first antiphon of Lauds, also used at Prime, is Intuemini, quam sit gloriosus iste) and can be found in the front of your Diurnal or Breviary (normally around the texts for week III of Advent depending on the edition);
  • the chapters, versicles, hymns (at Lauds and Vespers) and responsories are from the Ordinary of Advent (front section of your Diurnal or Breviary, Propers of Time);
  • the Benedictus antiphon at Lauds is either of the Advent day (ie Saturday in the third week of Advent, viz Quomodo fiet istud) or the date (in the case of December 23); and
  • the Magnificat antiphon is the O antiphon set for the date.
The main exception to these rules is the feast of St Thomas on December 21.

O antiphon of the day

The highlight of this period is surely the singing of the 'O' antiphons at Vespers.

Tomorrow's is O Sapientia:

O Wisdom, that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and dost mightily and sweetly order all things; come, to teach us the way of prudence!

You might want to consider using the O antiphons to pray for the sevenfold gifts of the spirit, both for ourselves and for our leaders each day.  In that light, pray then, not just for ourselves, but also that our leaders - secular and ecclesiastical - might be blessed with the gift of wisdom.

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