Leigh Hatts  

O SapientIa: setTing out

A donkey at Westminster Cathedral for a children’s carol service earlier this Advent

Today is a turning point in Advent as we look towards Christ’s first coming.

By tradition it is said that today Mary and Joseph are setting out on their 90 mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem by foot and donkey.

This is about the same distance as the Pilgrims’ Way from Southwark Cathedral to Canterbury Cathedral.

In Mexico there is the custom of daily Las Posadas processions until Christmas which enact Mary and Joseph looking for a bed night by night.

From now until 23 December a special antiphon is said or sung before and after the Magnificat at evening prayer addressing the Messiah by an ancient title.

Today’s is O Sapientia meaning O Wisdom.

A version can also be heard before the Gospel reading at Mass:

Wisdom of the Most High, ordering all things with strength and gentleness, come and teach us the way of truth.


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