Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a different set of Great O's - O come, Emmanuel - Ven, Dios humanado

I went to participate in Las Posadas and La Novena de Navidad last week with my parish, St. Luke's-San Lucas, Chelsea.  It's a combination of different Latin American Christmas traditions, a series that runs nightly from December 16-24 in which the community reenacts the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.

I would like to post more about it later if I have time, but tonight I want to share with you a few excerpts from a responsive meditation entitled "Aspiraciones para la Venida del Niño Jesús/Hopeful Expectations for the Coming of the Baby Jesus."  It reminds me of the "Great O Antiphons" that most of us first learned by singing "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel."  I’m sure there must be shared roots, perhaps from medieval times. 

The way we did it was for each part of the prayer to be read by a different person, and then all would sing the refrain.  I'm not sure if this is how it is always done, but it seemed to work.  In our case, most of the reading was done in Spanish since I was the only Anglo present that night. 

I will post each part I'm sharing first in Spanish, then in the (somewhat free) English translation which was given off to the side in my service booklet.

Sung refrain:
Dulce Jesús mío
Mi Niño adorado,
Ven a nuestras almas,
Ven no tardes tanto!

My sweet Jesus,
My beloved child
Come to our souls,
Come without delay!

Oh Sabiduria suprema del Dios soberano
Que bajas del cielo como un niño
Para abrazarnoes tiernamente,
Oh divino Niño, ven para enseñarnos la prudencia
Que hace verdaderos sabios.

Oh supreme Wisdom of the sovereign God,
Who comes down as a child
To meet us in loving embrace,
Oh divine Child, come to teach us prudence,
Which is the mother of all wisdom.

(Sung refrain)

Rey de las naciones
Glorioso Emmanuel,
Añoranza de Israel,
Pastor del rebaño,
Niño que apacientas con suave bastón,
Ya a la oveja arisca,
Ya al cordero manso.

King of the nations,
Glorious Emmanuel,
Israel's hope,
Shepherd of the flock
Child who calms with gentle rod
Both the untamed sheep
And the docile lamb.

(Sung refrain)

Abranse los cielos
Y lluevan de lo alto benediciones,
Como riego santo.
Ven, hermoso Niño,
Ven, Dios humanado,
Luce hemosa estrella,
Brota flor del campo.

Let the gates of heaven be opened
And blessings pour down
Like holy rain.
Come, beautiful Child,
Come, incarnate God,
Shine, beautiful star,
Spring up, flower from the field.

(Sung refrain)

Ven, que ya María alista sus brazos
Para acunar al Niño en tiempo cercano.
Ven, que ya José con sagrado anhelo,
Se dispone a hacerse
De tu amor sagrario.

Come, divine Word, as Mary longs to hold
her Baby in her arms in a fast approaching hour! 
Come, divine Word, as Joseph opens his heart to you
so that it may become the tabernacle of your love.

(Sung refrain)

Auxilio del débil,
Bálsamo del doliente,
Consuelo del triste,
Luz del desterrado.
Vida de mi vida, mi dueño adorado,
Mi constante amigo, mi divino hermano.

Strength of the weak,
Balm of the afflicted,
Comfort of those who grieve,
Hope of the outcast,
Life of my life, my beloved Lord, 
my steadfast friend, my divine brother.

(Sung refrain)

Ven Salvador nuestro
Por quien suspiramos.

Come, you long awaited Savior!

(Sung refrain)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

...and there was much rejoicing

The two sisters due into Boston from Port-au-Prince last night actually arrived: as it turns out, theirs was the first flight out when the airport reopened.  So they are home safe and sound (please keep the others in your prayers)...

...and there was much rejoicing.

My parish had been devasted by the theft of all its copper water pipes last week.  And now another parish has taken up a generous collection for their replacement...

...and there was much rejoicing.

Tomorrow is my monthly retreat day.  I am so ready for it...

...and there was much rejoicing.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

wings like a dove

So many random thoughts involving wings this evening...

When Sr. Mary Gabriel takes a pick to the ice in the birdbath and then adds hot water, why do the birds risk taking a bath? I understand why they and the squirrels are pleased to have water to drink, and they have been splashing around and having a marvelous time, but it is so cold out! It looks for all the world like one of those hot tubs at a ski resort, so I can imagine the appeal, but they can't go inside to dry off afterward.  Anyone understand avian biology enough to enlighten me? 

"Oh, that I had wings like a dove. I would fly away and be at rest."  This seemed an appropriate verse quite a number of times in the past couple of weeks.  Thanks be to God, tomorrow is our sabbath rest day, and I plan to enjoy it!

And speaking of flying away, I am wondering if the two sisters scheduled to fly out of Haiti to Boston on Tuesday are actually going to make it back that day.  I've done a news search, and as far as I can tell, all flights are still grounded.  Actually, I'm still wondering if they have been able to return home from their conference out of town or if the roads are still blocked.  Please pray for Haiti, all of you, as well as for their safe travel.  May the Holy Spirit be like that dove of peace there.

Finally, the girls putting on our church Epiphany pageant have decided to make wings for the angels.  Can anyone tell me how one might go about making them?  I did find the following directions, but they are on the complicated side and not quite like an angel's as usually depicted:  Mommy Blessings: Fairy Wings Tutorial. Some creative adjustment, perhaps?  Since we (the parish) had a break-in this week and had all our copper water pipes stolen, we are definitely not in any place to be spending much (if any) on these, so I am hoping someone out there will have suggestions for me.  Please, if you have any idea, no matter how crazy, leave me a comment!

Friday, December 10, 2010

still stranded at the conference site

I posted last night the news that the sisters in Haiti were doing ok, having heard the news through another sister who had reached them by telephone.  They were stuck out of town, having gone to a post-earthquake conference for clergy and lay leaders in Montrouis, the former site of the Episcopal seminary (I have no idea what they are normally using it for now, though I know the children from St. Vincent's School for the Disabled were there for a while immediately after the quake). The Presiding Bishop was supposed to come down to visit the diocese yesterday as well, but the bishop of Haiti asked her not to come, given the current instability.  Please pray for the leaders still at the now-extended conference, that they might use this extra time, given that they have it, as well as for the diocese and for Haiti as a whole.

If you'd like to read more about this, the Episcopal News Service has a good article on it at the link below.  It includes information about both the diocesan and the political situation.

Episcopal Church called to prayer for Haiti: Diocesan lay leaders stranded at conference site by post-election violence

I've also heard recently from Sr. Kethia that they have been told to add chlorine even to treated water. Sure hope they have enough supplies in Montrouis for all those people. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Haitian Art Calendar 2011

Mallory Holding has put together the Haitian Art Calendar 2011 to benefit the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti's rebuilding effort.

You may purchase it at lulu.com:


Mallory was in Port-au-Prince as a member of the Young Adults Service Corps when the earthquake hit, and you can see her love in all she has done since then for Haiti and for her friends there.  If you are interested in knowing more about her journey over the past year and a half, you can follow her blog, Holding Haiti, located at http://holdinghaiti.blogspot.com/.

update for those concerned

Sr. Promise was kind enough to email this evening to let us know that she'd gotten in touch with the sisters in Haiti.  They have been caught out of town and have to stay there because the roads are blocked, but they are fine.  They hope to get home to Port-au-Prince soon.

It's just so sad.  Every time I think it can't get worse, it does.  Makes me want to weep.

Please pray for Haiti.