Daily Reading for December 19 • The Fourth Sunday of Advent
O Radix Jesse
O Root of Jesse, Who standest for an ensign of the people,
at Whom Kings shall shut their mouths,
unto Whom the Gentiles shall pray:
Come and deliver us, and tarry not.
From The Greater Antiphons At Evensong During Eight Days Before Christmas from the Salisbury Antiphonary, edited by John Mason Neale and Thomas Helmore, in Hymnal Noted: Parts I and II (London: Novello, 1856).
At length, O Son of Jesse!
You are approaching the city of your ancestors.
The Ark of the Lord has risen, and journeys,
with the God that is in her, to the place of her rest.
“How beautiful are thy steps, O thou daughter of the Prince,”
now that you are bringing to the cities of Judah their salvation!
The angels escort you,
your faithful Joseph lavishes his love upon you,
heaven delights in you,
and our earth thrills with joy to bear thus upon itself its Creator and its Queen.
Go forward, O Mother of God and Mother of men,
who holds within yourself the divine Manna which gives us life!
Our hearts are with you, and count your steps.
Like your royal ancestor David, “we will not enter into the dwelling of our house,
nor go up into the bed whereon we lie,
nor give sleep to our eyes,
nor rest to our temples,
until we have found a place in our hearts for the Lord whom you bear,
a tabernacle for this God of Jacob.”
Come, then, O Root of Jesse! thus hidden in this Ark of purity;
you will soon appear before your people
as the standard round which all that would conquer must rally.
Then their enemies, the kings of the world, will be silenced,
and the nations will offer you their prayers.
Hasten your coming, dear Jesus!
come and conquer all our enemies, and deliver us.
From The Liturgical Year, volume 1, Advent by Abbott Prosper Louis Paschal Guéranger, O.S.B. (Westminster, Md.: The Newman Press, 1948). Translation by Dom Laurence Shepherd, O.S.B., ca. 1867. Text lightly modernized.