The O Antiphon: O Emmanuel

23 December 2017 | Reflections From Abbess Mary

Ding, dong, ding...
Soon we will proclaim our seventh and final O Antiphon...

O Emmanuel, 
our King and Lawgiver,
long awaited Saviour of the nations: 
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Tonight, we come full circle! The Messianic title, Emmanuel, gathers up and completes all that has gone before. The Christ who is our Wisdom, Lord, Root of Jesse, Key of David, Morning Star and King becomes Emmanuel, the God who is with us. 

Over these past seven days, we have cried out to Christ using all these titles with their deep symbolism and perhaps it is fitting that as we focus on Syria tonight, we need to implore all seven titles, with all those qualities, all that symbolism and all that saving to come and come quickly for that tragic land and her peoples. 

O Emmanuel
O Emmanuel, come and save us O Lord our God

Syria, too, has come full circle. After years of political unrest, cruel dictatorship and terror, all of which has seen tens of thousands killed, hundreds of thousands scattered to all part of the earth and its once beautiful cities destroyed, finally ISIS has been defeated, the bombing and destruction largely stopped and some semblance of order restored. Where to now? For this, we pray tonight. 

We pray for the many Syrians who are returning home to bombed out cities and villages to begin again. We pray for the heart break of families who have lost loved ones and whose lives will never be the same. We pray for Syrian refugees everywhere... those still in camps throughout the world and those who have been granted asylum, learning to live in new countries and cultures. We pray for her leaders, for a change of heart, for wisdom, for plans for re-building, for justice, compassion, peace and a future full of hope. 

May Emmanuel, God-with-us, come to save Syria and her people wherever they may be. From this reign of darkness, may there be shards of light; from this shell of destruction, may there be green shoots of hope and above all, may there be a lasting peace.

O Emmanuel, 
our King and Lawgiver,
long awaited Saviour of the nations: 
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

~  Everything that lives and that breathes gives praise to the Lord  ~

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