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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Apologies for (slightly) Off Topic ...


Any one with access to the "Church Times" - a well-respected newspaper of 
the Church of England - will find that its centre fold feature article this 
week in on the Great Os.

(You could try www.churchtimes.co.uk but this feature may not be available 
to non-subscribers until NEXT week - but worth waiting for!)

There is a brief historical background and then each antiphon in English and 
Latin, followed by a sonnet of meditation by a C of E priest. Each "O" is 
illustrated with an evocative roundel. The whole thing is beautiful.

The commentator also points out that the initials of the Titles (which one 
might observe after reading the final one) spell backwards: ERO CRAS [ I 
will come tomorrow] which is a glorious bit of mediaeval wordplay!


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Briggs" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 5:18 PM
Subject: Re: [M-R] saints of the day 16. December


> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
>
> John Briggs wrote:
>> Cormack, Margaret Jean wrote:
>> >
>> > Dear John,
>> > Could you remind us what 'O Sapientia' is all about?
>> > Meg
>>
>> "O Sapientia" is the first of the Christmas "O"
>> Antiphons. "O Sapientia" is on 16 December in the Sarum
>> Calendar, but on 17 December in other calendars. (I shall
>> have to do some digging to establish the precise
>> situation at York!)
>
> To clarify further: the seven "O" antiphons are daily Magnificat antiphons
> for 17th to 23rd December and they are:
>
> O Sapientia
> O Adonay
> O Radix Jesse
> O Clavis David
> O Oriens splendor
> O Rex gentium
> O Emmanuel
>
> Sarum (and York, and Hereford) add "O virgo virginum" on 23rd December, 
> and
> so start the sequence a day earlier, on 16th December.
>
> Both York and Sarum (I haven't checked Hereford) have a 9th "O" antiphon 
> ("O
> Thoma didime") for the feast of Thomas the Apostle on 21st December. The
> Sarum Breviary doesn't fully explain how this is fitted in, as it 
> definitely
> specifies "O Thoma didime" as the Magnificat antiphon for both First and
> Second Vespers, whereas the York Breviary says that for First Vespers on
> 20th December "O Thoma didime" is the Magnificat antiphon, with "O Oriens
> splendor" as an additional antiphon.  For Second Vespers on 21st December,
> "Quia vidisti me, Thoma" is the Magnificat antiphon and "O Rex gentium" 
> the
> additional antiphon.
>
> John Briggs
>
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