In these final days before we celebrate the Nativity of the Lord, Holy Church provides us with the Great 'O' Antiphons at vespers with which to recall and meditate upon the mystery of the coming of the Christ. Those who follow us on Facebook will have been listening to Charpentier's setting of these wonderful verses.
This evening we give praise to the Lord Who is King of the Gentiles.
Veni, Veni, Rex gentium,veni, Redemptor omnium,Ut salvas tuos famulosPeccati sibi conscios.
In John Mason Neale's English adaptation of this verse, we make a solemn prayer for unity and for the coming of the Kingdom on Earth.
O come, Desire of nations, bindIn one the hearts of all mankind;Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,And be Thyself our King of Peace.
How appropriate this petition is for the Ordinariate which, formed in the heart of the Holy Father as in the Sacred Heart of Christ Himself, proclaims at one and the same time the command of unity and peace, but also that such unity must have as its source obedience to the "Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace".
Let us pray, therefore, with great urgency in these final days of expectation for the coming of His Kingdom which shall know no end, that we may not indulge our laziness and apprehension in proclaiming the truth that Christ teaches us through His Church, rather becoming bold in this Year of Faith to hold fast to that which we have received.
We include a recording below from the Paderborn Cathedral Choir singing Veni, Veni Emmanuel. Let it never be said we do not appreciate the universality of the Church and seek only our own small corner. Do enjoy the German Latin.