The Liturgical Calendar reminds us that the Advent weekdays from December 17-24 are intended to be a direct preparation for Christmas. The Gospels during this period speak of the events leading up to the birth of Jesus and the First Reading presents important prophecies about the Messiah. One of the liturgical indications of the days of preparation for Christmas are the Antiphons for the “Canticle of Mary” at Evening Prayer, called the “O” Antiphons, as “O” begins each one. The hymn “O Come, Emmanuel” is based on these Antiphons.
Bishop Gary Gordon, in his Christmas Pastoral Letter, invites us to prepare and reflect on the coming of “Emmanuel” (“God is with us”).
May these final days of preparation for Christmas inspire us to look to the horizon of hope and open our hearts in faith to welcome Emmanuel.