O Emmanuel

December 23rd Liturgy of the Word Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24Luke 1:57-66 O Emmanuel O come, O come, and be our God-with-usO long-sought With-ness for a world without,O secret seed, O hidden spring of light.Come to us Wisdom, come unspoken NameCome Root, and Key, and King, and holy Flame,O quickened little wick so tightly curled,Be folded with […]

O Rex Gentium

December 22nd Liturgy of the Word 1 Sam 1:24-28Luke 1:46-56 O Rex Gentium O King of our desire whom we despise,King of the nations never on the throne,Unfound foundation, cast-off cornerstone,Rejected joiner, making many one,You have no form or beauty for our eyes,A King who comes to give away his crown,A King within our rags […]

O Oriens

December 21st Liturgy of the Word Song of Songs 2:8-14Luke 1:39-45 O Oriens First light and then first lines along the eastTo touch and brush a sheen of light on waterAs though behind the sky itself they tracedThe shift and shimmer of another riverFlowing unbidden from its hidden source;The Day-Spring, the eternal Prima Vera.Blake saw […]


Advent Sunday 4 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a,16Romans 16:25-27Luke 1:26-38 My heart leapt when I saw the readings for this last Sunday in Advent. I have always looked forward to Advent for the prominence given to Old Testament texts. I think I would describe myself as having an Old Testament heart. Today’s first reading from […]

O Radix Jesse

December 19th Liturgy of the Word Judges 13:2-7, 24-25Luke 1:5-25 O Radix Jesse All of us sprung from one deep-hidden seed,Rose from a root invisible to all.We knew the virtues once of every weed,But, severed from the roots of ritual,We surf the surface of a wide-screen worldAnd find no virtue in the virtual.We shrivel on […]

O Adonai

December 18th Liturgy of the Word Jeremiah 23:5-8Matthew 1:18-24 O Adonai Unsayable, you chose to speak one tongue,Unseeable, you gave yourself away,The Adonai, the TetragramatonGrew by a wayside in the light of day.O you who dared to be a tribal God,To own a language, people and a place,Who chose to be exploited and betrayed,If so […]

O Sapientia

December 17th Liturgy of the WordGen 49:2, 8-10Mat 1:1-17 O Sapientia I cannot think unless I have been thought,Nor can I speak unless I have been spoken.I cannot teach except as I am taught,Or break the bread except as I am broken.O Mind behind the mind through which I seek,O Light within the light by […]

O Clavis David

December 20th Liturgy of the Word Isaiah 7:10-14Luke 1:26-38 O Clavis David Even in the darkness where I sitAnd huddle in the midst of miseryI can remember freedom, but forgetThat every lock must answer to a key,That each dark clasp, sharp and intricate,Must find a counter-clasp to meet its guard,Particular, exact and intimate,The clutch and […]

The Light

Advent Sunday 3 Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-11 Thessalonians 5:16-24John 1:6-8, 19-28 Two themes intertwine in this week’s Liturgy of the Word. It’s the moment in Advent when we rejoice that the Lord is at hand and also commit ourselves to preparing for that coming. The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,for the Lord […]


Advent Sunday 2 Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-112 Peter 3:14-18Mark 1:1-8 ‘Console my people, console them, says your God. ‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her that her time of service is ended…’ It’s impossible for me to read or hear the quote above without also hearing the plaintive melody from Handel’s Messiah. Texts […]