O Oriens, splendor lucis æternæ, et sol justitiæ: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.


O Dawn of the East, Brightness of the Light Eternal and Sun of Justice, come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Today’s O Antiphon references Christ using three traditional scriptural images: Dawn of the East (see Psalm 19), Brightness of the Light Eternal (Isaiah 9:1 – “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.”), and Sun of Justice (Malachi 3:20: “For you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.”). The coming of Christ shatters the darkness of sin and death, and brings healing to sinners in need.

Let us pray:

Hear in kindness, O Lord,
the prayers of your people,
that those who rejoice
at the coming of your Only Begotten Son in our flesh
may, when at last he comes in glory,
gain the reward of eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.1

(1) See: Roman Missal, Collect December 21.