Slow Down and Have a Holy Advent

David Oatney Pope Francis, Prayer

This past weekend (the vigil and the Sunday proper) heralded the beginning of Advent. In the Church’s year, it is a new beginning, marking a new Year of Grace, 2014. The Church begins the liturgical cycle by reflecting for four weeks in the daily scripture readings, the text of the Mass, and the antiphons of the Liturgy of the Hours …

The End of Another Year of Grace

David Oatney Year of Faith

As we enter the closing days of the Liturgical Year 2013, those of you who pay close attention to the daily Mass readings will notice that a distinctly eschatological theme begins to develop in these days leading up to what will ultimately be the Feast of Christ the King and the last week of Ordinary Time. The readings in many …

O Emmanuel!

Deacon Scott Maentz Prayer

O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver, the hope of the nations and their Saviour: Come and save us, O Lord our God.  As the hours until Christmas draw near our prayers seem even more urgent. Come and save us, O Lord our God! The hymn O Come O Come Emmanuel, which draws entirely upon these O Antiphons begins by saying, ransom captive Israel. I …

O Rising Sun!

Deacon Scott Maentz Prayer

O Rising Sun, splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness: Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death. Today’s antiphon is one of my favorites. During this time of Advent preparation, it reminds us that even before Christ’s birth, the joy of his resurrection was present to those whom Isaiah describes with these words, …

O Key of David!

Deacon Scott Maentz Prayer

O key of David and scepter of the House of Israel; you open and no one can shut; you shut and no one can open: Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house, those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.  When it comes to God, we should always expect the unexpected. Today’s antiphon brings us back …

O Wisdom!

Deacon Scott Maentz Prayer, Year of Faith

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from one end to the other mightily, and sweetly ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of prudence. Today we enter the octave before Christmas and our final preparations of Advent. Traditionally this is a time when we begin the singing of the “O Antiphons”. Many …

Liturgical Seasons

Deacon Scott Maentz Vatican II, Year of Faith

Continuing with our journey through the documents of the Second Vatican Council, I would like to take a look at the liturgical year. We are just around the corner from the beginning of a new Church year that begins with the First Sunday of Advent. There are really several liturgical calendars in the Church that overlap one another and unless …