An Advent Calendar - December 18th

Watchtower in the Holy Land; Photo Source: The Matson Collection on

Wake, awake, for night is flying;
the watchmen on the heights are crying:
awake, Jerusalem, at last!
Midnight hears the welcome voices
and at the thrilling cry rejoices;
come forth, ye virgins, night is past;
the Bridegroom comes, awake;
your lamps with gladness take;
And for his marriage feast prepare
for ye must go and meet him there.

Zion hears the watchmen singing,
and all her heart with joy is springing;
she wakes, she rises from her gloom;
for her Lord comes down all glorious,
the strong in grace, in truth victorious.
her Star is risen, her Light is come.
Ah come, thou blessèd One,
God's own belovèd Son;
We follow till the halls we see
where thou hast bid us sup with thee

Now let all the heavens adore thee,
and men and angels sing before thee,
with harp and cymbal's clearest tone;
of one pearl each shining portal,
where we are with the choir immortal
of angels round thy dazzling throne;
nor eye hath seen, nor ear
hath yet attained to hear
what there is ours,
but we rejoice and sing to thee
our hymn of joy eternally.

Philipp Nicolai, 1597
trans. Catherine Winkworth, 1858


Habakkuk 2:1-4 (KJV)

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.


 UNKNOWN; Flemish Master, 1480, The Last judgment and the wise and foolish virgins Matthew 25:1-13

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

In the English use, the Great O Antiphon for today is
O Radix Jesse.
(It will be the antiphon for tomorrow in the Latin use.)

December 18th has also traditionally been celebrated as the Feast of Santa Maria de la O, (Saint Mary of the O).
Click here to read about this charming feast.


More about Advent on Full Homely Divinity:
                        Rediscovering Advent
                        The Saints of Advent
                        Hymns of Advent
                        A Devotion for the Last Days of  Advent

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