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The last period of Advent is traditionally a period to consider the prophecies about Christ Jesus. This last week, we will use the scripture passages that are the basis for the special antiphons for each of the seven days before Christmas. These antiphons were used from the early Middle Ages onwards in Latin-speaking churches at evening prayer from Dec. 17-23. The hymn, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is based on these seven antiphons.

For today’s meditation, our brother Joseph Mathias provides commentary on Luke 1:78-79 and the “O Morning Star” antiphon. Take a listen or click here to download. If you would like to subscribe to our daily Words from the Servants podcast or download the full list of Advent Meditation Passages we’ll be covering this December, click here.

 

Antiphon:

“O Morning Star, splendor of eternal light and sun of righteousness, come enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.”

Note: the Greek translation of Jer 23:5 and Zech 3:8, 6:12 is the probable source for Lk 1:78. The messianic term, “Branch,” in the Hebrew is translated by the Greek word, anatolē, meaning “dawn”, “rising”, or “morning star”. The Latin is “Oriens”. Also see Malachi 4:2; Wisdom 7:26; and Matthew 2:2, 9.

Luke 1:78-79:

“Through the tender mercy of our God,
when the day shall dawn upon us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Joseph Mathias
Joseph is a lifelong committed brother who lives in Ann Arbor, where he was also born and raised. He graduated from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan with a concentration in Russian. He currently serves in University Christian Outreach at Michigan State University, while pursuing a Master's degree in Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.
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