Saturday 25 December 2010

Unto us a child is born

Deus, qui nos redemptiónis nostræ ánnua exspectatióne lætíficas: præsta; ut Unigenitum tuum, quem Redemptórem læti suscípimus, veniéntem quoque júdicem secúri videámus, Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum: Qui tecum.
O God, who makest us glad with the yearly expectation of our redemption, grant that we who now joyfully receive Thine only-begotten Son as our Redeemer, may also without fear behold Him coming as our Judge, the same our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son: Who with Thee and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.
May the coming of the Christ-Child
bring true peace and joy to our troubled world.

May God grant you a happy and holy Christmas!


Thursday 23 December 2010

Advent "O" Antiphon December 23rd

Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster.

Isaias 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel.

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Advent "O" Antiphon December 22nd

King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.

Isaias 9:7
His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace: he shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom; to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever: the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaias 2:4
And he shall judge the Gentiles, and rebuke many people: and they shall turn their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into sickles: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they be exercised any more to war.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Advent "O" Antiphons

In the Church's Liturgy of the Hours, Evening Prayer, also know as Vespers, always includes the great prayer of Our Blessed Lady known as the Magnificat. Each day, the Magnificat is preceded by a short verse or "antiphon" that links the prayer to the feast of the day or the season of the year. In the last seven days of Advent (December 17-24), the antiphons before the Magnificat are very special. Each begins with the exclamation "O" and ends with a plea for the Messiah to come. As Christmas approaches the cry becomes increasingly urgent.

These moving "O Antiphons" were apparently composed in the seventh or eighth century when monks put together texts from the Old Testament, particularly from the prophet Isaiah, which looked forward to the coming of our salvation. They form a rich, interlocking mosaic of scriptural images. The great "O Antiphons" became very popular in the Middle Ages when it became traditional to ring the great bells of the church each evening as they were being sung.

Each of the O Antiphons highlights a different title for the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel. Also, each one refers to the prophecy of Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah. A particularly fascinating feature of the O Antiphons is that the first letter of each invocation, when read backwards, forms an acrostic in Latin: the first letters of Sapientia, Adonai, Radix, Clavis, Oriens, Rex, and Emmanuel in reverse form the Latin words: ERO CRAS. These can be understood as the words of Christ, responding to his people's plea, saying "Tomorrow I will be there."

The Antiphon for today, December 21st, is:
O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
O Oriens (Is. 9:1): O Rising Sun, you are the splendor of eternal light and the sun of justice. O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Just as the natural sun gives light and life to all upon whom its rays fall, so Christ, the Rising Dawn, dispels darkness and brings eternal life and light.

Saying the O Antiphons as a family, whether during grace at meals, in front of the Crib, or even in front of the Christmas tree, is a wonderful Advent devotion and a fitting way to prepare for the great events of Christmas.

Fr. Mark Lawler, SChLJ

Thursday 9 December 2010

The Grand Master's Advent Message

To my friends in the name of Saint Lazarus,
The end of 2010 is now approaching and we can all sigh with relief, "What a year!"

With Christmas close at hand it is significant to note that, with the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem is moving forward into a brighter future. Yes, our faith in our Almighty Lord will spur us on in our mission to help the sick, the needy, and the poor. In this, we will not be wavered in the defence of the Christian values so close to our hearts.

Let us be guided by that bright star that leads us towards Bethlehem and pay homage to our creator with humility and joy. Our motivation is intense and the mission presented in Orléans will be fulfilled. No, there are no dark clouds over the horizon. Our dignity is intact and we will continue to conduct ourselves as charitable and chivalrous Christians.

And for this advent season, let us pray for our fellow brothers and sisters throughout the world. Take up our tendered hand and let us join together as one great family.

For you my dear friends, for your families and loved ones, I wish you all a very happy and holy Christmas.

Yours in the name of Saint Lazarus,

Jan Count Dobrzenský z Dobrzenicz
50th Grand Master

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Chapter General

The Italian Grand Priory has created an excellent YouTube video of photographs from the recent Chapter General.

The Grand Priory of Italy under it's Grand Prior, H.E. Chev. Giovanni Ferrara, does wonderful work in the service of the needy. Their website is: