O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.
O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,
the hope of the nations and their Saviour:
Come and save us, O Lord our God
“Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Emmanuel.”
Listen to the chanted Antiphon
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. (Isaiah 2:4)
For behold the day shall come kindled as a furnace: and all the proud, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall set them on fire, says the Lord of hosts, it shall not leave them root, nor branch. But unto you that fear my name, the Sun of justice shall arise, and health in his wings: and you shall go forth, and shall leap like calves of the herd. And you shall tread down the wicked when they shall be ashes under the sole of your feet in the day that I do this, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 4:1-3)
The average Christian is well acquainted with the Church's recommendation to prepare for major liturgical feasts (including the feasts of saints) through the praying of a novena, most commonly prayed nine days preceding the feast. The coming of the Messiah's birth is of no exception!
Today the Advent season is not often a season which one associates with penance and fasting. However, when one dives into the Church's traditions, the Ember Days & Fasts were held in esteem as the way to begin the Liturgical Seasons.
"Incline Thine ear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to our petitions:
and, by the grace of Thy visitation, enlighten the darkness of our minds."
Collect: Third Sunday of Advent
"O my Divine Savior, how consoling and honorable for Thy holy precursor, to be the voice crying out to men to prepare the way of the Lord! Rejoicing with her whole heart, Holy Church, at Thy approaching advent, invites all her children to participate in her joy. With a tender love we will respond to her invitation, even mindful that Thou art nigh to each one of us. Thou desirest to be near us with Thy grace and Thy peace; but how many remain at a distance, because they know Thee not, nor do they desire to know Thee.
"O Divine Savior, enlighten these blinded souls, draw them unto Thee by the sweet power of Thy grace. Compel the obdurate to enter into themselves and remove the obstacles that oppose Thy bountiful advent in their hearts. True to the admonition of the Apostle, we will hasten to meet Thee with prayers, fasting, impetration, and thanksgiving, to participate in Thy peace, which surpassed all comprehension."
- Reflection on the Third Week of Advent from "Jesus the Model of the Religious"
"Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the way of Thine only-begotten Son: that through His coming we may attain to serve Thee with purified minds."
Collect: Second Sunday of Advent