Leigh Hatts  

Old St Thomas Day: O Oriens

St Thomas Fair in Bilbao, northern Spain

Today Thursday 21 December is Old St Thomas Day.

This is Thomas the Apostle or Doubting Thomas who at first could not believe that the crucified Christ was alive.

So, although we now keep St Thomas Day is July, today is a reminder of the later years of the Christ Child.

Some Anglican churches still observe St Thomas Day today and many St Thomas fairs survive in the Basque Country.

It was the day, especially in England, to give to the poor before the great Christmas feast.

Today is the shortest day and its appropriate O Antiphon is O Oriens which means O Morning Star. 

O Morning Star,
splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death.

Hear it before and after the Magnificat at Evening Prayer.

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