Saturday, December 16, 2006

O Taedium

Here's an Advent Promise for you:

I will not write any blog entries about the "Great 'O' Antiphons". This will set me apart from virtually every other Christian blogger on the planet, who wax tedious every year at this time, going on about the majestic splendor of these antiphons. The irony is that these posts are usually intended as a bit of liturgical history, yet it is precisely that history that shows these antiphons to be fairly unremarkable. I suspect there is still a tendency out there in some quarters to think that there may be a reader lurking in a cave somewhere who does not already know all about these things, but let's face it: if the person is reading your blog in the first place, then he already knows all about the O antiphons. It's a self-selecting audience.

I'll try to find something even more tedious to blog about, so that I can maintain my record as the most tiresome blogger on the net.


Nelson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nelson said...

After reading this, I actually have to do a search. Thanks for alerting to a potentially embarrasing gap in my knowledge.


Fr Martin Fox said...

Very funny!

I like the antiphons, but I do agree the liturgy-nerd hoopla over them does get tedious.

One note: I regret the retranslation of one of the verses of Veni, Veni Emmanuel, such that it no longer says:

"O Come, Thou Son of Jesse free/Thine own from Satan's tyranny;/From depths of hell thy people save/And give them victory over the grave."

I guess this was taken as not nice to the Jewish people; but silly me, growing up, I thought this meant me too -- and I liked the idea of being saved from the "depths of hell."

Alternately, of course, one can say that the song is sung from a pre-nativity perspective -- hence, the Lord has come his people to save.

At any rate, I strongly suspect unreflective bowdlerization at work here, which irritates me.

Vitae Scrutator said...

Fr. Fox:

I think you're right that the verse must apply to all of us--I'm not sure why anybody would read it as unfriendly to Jews in particular. I do think you're right, though: there is often bowdlerization at work in these translations (I notice that even Love Divine has been changed around to suit more a contemporary Zeitgeist)--bowdlerization or banalization!

I will break my own promise just a little bit to make this one remark: in Anglican use the antiphon O Sapientia is assigned to 16 December, and the period from 16 December up through the Vigil of Christmas inclusive was known as Sapientiatide. I'm something of a fan of those old-fashioned -tides of the Anglican use, and I rather regret the elimination of the more colorful division of liturgical seasons (such as Epiphany, Passiontide, Trinity, etc.) after the Council.

Homily for Requiem Mass of Michael Carson, 20 November 2021

  Readings OT: Wisdom 3:1-6, 9 [2, short form] Ps: 25 [2] NT: Romans 8:31b-35, 37-39 [6] Alleluia verse: John 6:39 [...