Fourth Day of the O Antiphons: O Come, thou Key of David, Come

At St. Mary’s at nine o’clock this morning, three of us gathered to pray Morning Prayer.  We lit three blue and one pink candle on the Advent wreath, and sat to listen and knelt to pray.

After hearing the lesson from the First Testament appointed for the Tuesday in the fourth week of Advent, we sang and prayed:


O come, thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emanuel shall come to thee,
O Israel.

My soul proclaims your greatness, O God; 
My spirit rejoices in you, my Savior, 
For you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed; 
You, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
 and holy is your Name.
You have mercy on those who fear you
 from generation to generation.
You, O God, have shown strength with your arm, 
And scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones
 and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things
 and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, 
For you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, 
to Abraham, Sarah and their children for ever.
O come, thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emanuel shall come to thee,
O Israel.

We were using the translation of the Song of Mary provided from the breviary of the Order of Saint Helena, an Episcopal religious community for women (yep, Episcopal nuns).  I love this translation of the Magnificat because it has been reframed to make it a prayer, using the second person pronoun to address God, rather than the third.  This also opens our hearts for God to be gender neutral and expands the possibility of the mystery of God.  I believe that singing is a way to pray, and rephrasing the Song of Mary to make it a more intentional prayer is helpful as we listen to God’s answer to our question for this fourth week of Advent:
How is God coming to us today?


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