Sunday, December 17, 2023

Gaudete Sunday 2023: O Sapientia

Truly it is worthy... through Christ our Lord; by Whose incarnation was accomplished the salvation of the world, and by Whose Passion was effected the redemption of man. May He lead us, we ask, to eternal reward, Who redeemed us from the darkness of hell, and justify us in His second coming, Who redeemed us in the first; so that His exaltedness may defend us from evil, Whose lowliness raised us up unto life. Through Whom the angels praise Thy majesty... (An ancient preface for Gaudete Sunday.)
The Annunciation, by Fra Bartolomeo (1472-1517), a Florentine Dominican friar and painter who made this image for the cathedral of Volterra in 1497. Note the medallion above the door, which shows the Biblical episode of the Sacrifice of Isaac, and in this context, indicates that the purpose of Christ’s Incarnation was to redeem the human race through His Passion. (Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.)
VD: Per Christum, Dóminum nostrum. Cujus incarnatióne salus facta est mundi, et passióne redemptio procreáta est hómini. Ipse nos, quáesumus, ad aeternum perdúcat praemium, qui redémit de ténebris infernórum, justificetque in adventu secundo, qui nos redémit in primo; quátenus illíus nos a malis defendat sublímitas, cujus nos ad vitam erexit humílitas. Per quem majestátem tuam laudant Angeli...
This evening at Vespers, the Church sings the first of the O Antiphons.
O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.
O Wisdom, that comest from the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, mightily and sweetly ordering all things, come and teach us the way of prudence.
Christ and Lady Wisdom, from a missal made in Germany ca. 1170. Beneath Wisdom are shown Zachariah, the father of St John the Baptist (who is wearing a miter to indicate that he is a priest), and below him the patriarch Jacob; to either side of them, Isaiah (left) and Daniel; to either side of Wisdom, David (left) and Abraham; the small figures not to them are Malachi (left) and Balaam. Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.  

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