Sacred hymns hold quite a prevalent place within the life of a Marian Sister, and for anyone who fosters a liturgical spirit. To a religious, the hymns given by the Church become the the very breath throughout one's day.
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.
May the Heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament,
be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment,
in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.