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Advent Prayers, 24 December
The Mothers’ Union

O Virgo

O Virgin of virgins, how shall this be?
You will conceive in your womb and bear a Son.
Your eyes will see the King in his beauty,
for that which you behold is a divine mystery.

Traditionally, there are only seven “O” Antiphons: when listed and read backwards (of course) they form a Latin Acrostic, promising the coming of Christ:

Emmanuel — God with us
Rex — King of the Nations
Oriens — Dayspring, our Morning Star

Clavis — Key
Radix — Root
Adonai — Lord
Sapientia — Wisdom

ERO CRAS: Tomorrow I come.

So it is for most of the world, and again in our liturgies today. But the English Tradition – the old Sarum Rite – gave us one more glorious prayer:

O Virgin of virgins, how shall this be?
You will conceive in your womb and bear a Son.
Your eyes will see the King in his beauty,
for that which you behold is a divine mystery.

All through Advent, we have been searching for the beauty of God – the wonder Mary bears in her womb.

Our longing for beauty changes us – it brings us close to the mystery of God.

When we can see God’s beauty in the people we meet, we help them to know their own worth. When we can see God’s beauty in our own hopes and dreams, we are given courage to act. When we see God’s beauty in the world all around – it stirs us to love and to care.

There are many beautiful things happening in this diocese – in the projects we have prayed for, in the places we left unsung, in the lives of those who give themselves to Christ, and share in the wonder of God.

Mary changes the Acrostic: Vero Cras — Truly, I Come.

Truly our God will be with us.
Truly, Christ will come.

Today, we pray for the Mothers’ Union: for their work in the Diocese of Lincoln and around the world.

Eternal God, as Mary waited for the birth of your Son,
so we wait for his coming in Glory.
Bring us, with her, to see our great Salvation,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Common Worship Collect, adapted)

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