The Antiphons of Advent

"I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder." (Isaiah 22:22)

Antiphon for December 21

O Rising Dawn, Radiance of the Light eternal and Sun of Justice: come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Isaiah 9:1: "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone".

Malachi 3:20: "For you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays".

2 Peter 1:19: "Keep your attention closely fixed on it, as you would on a lamp shining in a dark place, until the first streaks of dawn appear and the morning star rises in your heart".

This title is variously translated "morning star", "Dayspring", "rising sun", "radiant dawn", "orient".  All beautifully express the idea of light shattering the darkness of night, of sin and death, of sickness and despair, with its brightness bringing healing and warmth to cold hearts.  Jesus is indeed the true light, the radiance of his Father's splendor. The church prays this petition daily in the Benedictus, joining in the words of Zechariah: "He, the Dayspring, shall visit us in his mercy to shine on those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death"  (Luke 1:78-79).

(c) 2000 Jeanne Kun

The O Antiphons 

The root of Jesse 
(c) 1997 print by Jeanne Kun
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