Text is from "The Liturgical Year",
by Abbot Guéranger, O.S.B.
Artist: Francesco Albani (1578–1660).
Date: First half of the 17th-Century.
Source/Photographer: Web Gallery of Art.
Current location: Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Author: Francesco Albani (1578–1660).
The Church sings this Antiphon in today's Office of Lauds:
Ecce completa sunt omnia quae dicta sunt per angelum, de Virgine Maria.
Lo !, all things are accomplished that were said by the Angel, of The Virgin Mary.
SEVENTH GREAT O ANTIPHON
Rex et legifer noster,
et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos,
Domine Deus noster.
our King and Lawgiver,
the expected of the nations
and their Saviour,
come to save us,
O Lord our God.
O Emmanuel !, King of Peace !, Thou enterest today the City of Thy predilection, the City in which Thou hast placed Thy temple - Jerusalem.
A few years hence, the same City will give Thee Thy Cross and Thy Sepulchre: Nay, the day will come on which Thou wilt set up Thy Judgement-Seat within sight of her walls. But, today, Thou enterest the City of David and Solomon unnoticed and unknown.
It lies on Thy road to Bethlehem [Editor: In Hebrew, Bethlehem means "House of Bread"]. The Blessed Mother and Joseph, her spouse, would not lose the opportunity of visiting the temple, there to offer to The Lord their Prayers and Adoration.
They enter; and then, for the first time, is accomplished the Prophecy of Aggeus, that great shall be the glory of this last house more than of the first; for this second temple has now standing within it an Ark of The Covenant more precious than was that which Moses built; and within this Ark, which is Mary, is contained the God whose presence makes her the holiest of Sanctuaries.
The Lawgiver, Himself, is in this Blessed Ark, and not merely, as in that of old, the tablet of stone on which The Law was graven. The visit paid, our living Ark descends the steps of the temple, and sets out once more for Bethlehem, where other Prophecies are to be fulfilled.
We Adore Thee, O Emmanuel !, in this Thy journey, and we reverence the fidelity wherewith Thou fulfillest all that the Prophets have written of Thee; for Thou wouldst give to Thy people the certainty of Thy being The Messias, by showing them that all the marks, whereby He was to be known, are to be found in Thee.
And now; the hour is near; all is ready for Thy birth; come, then, and save us; come, that Thou mayst not only be called our Emmanuel, but our Jesus, that is, He that saves us.
THE GREAT ANTIPHON TO JERUSALEM
O Hierusalem !,
civitas Dei sumi,
leva in circuitu oculos tuos;
et vide Dominum tuum,
quia jam veniet solvere
te a vinculis.
O Jerusalem !,
City of The Great God:
Lift up thine eyes round about,
and see thy Lord,
for He is coming to loose
thee from thy chains.