Sunday, November 30, 2014

Advent 2014

Looking from afar, behold I see the power of God coming, and a cloud covering all the land: * go ye to meet him and say: * Tell us if thou art the one, * who art to rule in the people of Israel.
V. All you that are earthborn, and you sons of men: both rich and poor together, go ye out to meet him and say.
V. Give ear, O thou that rulest Israel: thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep; tell us if thou art the one.
V. Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in, who art to rule in the people of Israel.
Glory be unto the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Looking from afar, behold I see the power of God coming, and a cloud covering all the land: go ye to meet him and say: tell us if thou art the one, who art to rule in the people of Israel. (First responsory at Matins of the First Sunday of Advent)

The Prophet Isaiah, painted by Raphael in the Basilica of St Augustine in Rome in 1512. On his scroll is written in Hebrew, from chapter 26 of his book, verses 2-3, “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Whose mind is stayed on thee, Thou wilt keep him (in perfect peace).” The dedicatory inscription in Greek above reads “To Anne, the mother of the Virgin, to the virginal Mother of God, and to Christ the Redeemer, John Goritz” (hellenized as ‘Joannes Corycios’). Goritz, a merchant from Luxembourg, commissioned the painting on one of the pillars of the basilica, and the altar to St Anne originally located beneath it. The influence of Michelangelo, who was completing the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel when Raphael painted this, is very strong in this work; a famous story claims that Goritz complained to Michelangelo about the price of it, and Michelangelo replied, “The knee alone is worth the price!”
R. Aspiciens a longe, ecce video Dei potentiam venientem, et nebulam totam terram tegentem: * ite obviam ei, et dicite: * Nuntia nobis, si tu es ipse, * qui regnaturus es in populo Israël.
V. Quique terrigenæ, et filii hominum, simul in unum dives et pauper: ite obviam et, et dicite.
V. Qui regis Israël, intende, qui deducis velut ovem Joseph: nuntia nobis, si tu es ipse.
V. Tollite portas, principes, vestras, et elevamini portæ æternales, et introibit Rex gloriæ, qui regnaturus es in populo Israël.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
R. Aspiciens a longe, ecce video Dei potentiam venientem, et nebulam totam terram tegentem: ite obviam ei, et dicite: Nuntia nobis, si tu es ipse, qui regnaturus es in populo Israël.

Click here to listen to a beautiful recording of this magnificent text, made several years ago at St Stephen’s in Sacramento, California.

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