Advent 2010 is complete, and I hope you have enjoyed some of the Angels in Rome. I conclude this series with one of the many Christmas manger scenes in Rome. Since I have been living here, the precepio in the Panthon has come from an art competition in the German city of Zwickau. (The city was the first to embrace Lutheranism and is the birthplace of the composer Robert Schumann.) This year’s precepio was sculpted by Jo Harbort, age 59. He did not include any angels, but he does have a shepherd and kings.
qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel; you open and no one can shut; you shut and no one can open: Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house, those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
"O" Antiphons Most people are familiar with the "O" Antiphons because they are paraphrased in the words of the Advent Hymn "O Come! O Come! Emmanuel." In the tradition of liturgucal churches, the "O" Antiphons are sung or recited at vespers from December 17 through December 23. I will be using them for the text of my next seven Advent Calendar Roman windows.
Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture. They are: December 17: O Sapientia (O Wisdom) December 18: O Adonai (O Adonai) December 19: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse) December 20: O Clavis David (O Key of David) December 21: O Oriens (O Morning Star) December 22: O Rex Gentium (O King of the nations) December 23: O Emmanuel (O Emmanuel)
The exact origin of the "O Antiphons" is not known. Boethius (480–524/5) made a slight reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time. At the Benedictine Saint Benedict Abbey abbey of Fleury (now Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire), these antiphons were recited by the abbot and other abbey leaders in descending rank, and then a gift was given to each member of the community. By the eighth century, they were in use in the liturgical celebrations in Rome.
Angels in Piazza Navona: Fountains and Church Doors
Come unto Him, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and He will give you rest. Take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. - His yoke is easy and His burthen is light. From Handel's Messiah: Part I Alto Air and Chorus
Babbo Natale made his annual visit to Ambrit Rome International School.
It is a tradition that the younger children bring gifts for Babbo Natale to deliver to pediatric HIV patients in Rome. The school families are very generous in providing toys for young children suffering from HIV.
Angels in the Church of San Francesco a Ripa (Trastevere)
Make ye straight what long was crooked, make the rougher places plain: let your hearts be true and humble, as befits his holy reign, For the glory of the Lord now o'er the earth is shed abroad, and all flesh shall see the token that his word is never broken. Advent Hymn #67 From The Hymnal 1982
See that your lamps are burning; replenish them with oil; and wait for your salvation, the end of earthly toil. The watchers on the mountain proclaim the Bridegroom near; go meet him as he cometh, with alleluias clear. Advent Hymn #68 From The Hymnal 1982
The Third Sunday in Advent, Gaudete Sunday "Gaudete" comes from the Latin Antiphon, which begins, "Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete.." [Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice...]. On this day, rose-colored vestments are worn, and flowers may decorate the chancel of the church.
Angel in the folds of the Madonna's Robe
Basilica Santa Anastasia on the Palatine Hill
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ever faithful to your promises and ever close to your Church: the earth rejoices in hope of the Savior's coming and looks forward with longing to his return at the end of time. Prepare our hearts and remove the sadness that hinders us from feeling the joy and hope which his presence will bestow, for he is Lord for ever and ever. The Opening Mass Prayer for the Third Sunday of Advent From the Companion Missal
A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:1-2 NRSV
Prepare the way, O Zion; your Christ is drawing near! Let every hill and valley a level way appear. Greet one who comes in glory, foretold in sacred story. Oh, blest is Christ that come In God’s most holy name. Advent Hymn # 65 from the Hymnal 1982
Angel mosaic (c. 822) from the ceiling of the St. Zeno Chapel
in the Basilica of Santa Prassede on the Esquiline Hill.
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
from a fresco in the Basilica SS. Apostoli (now in Vatican Museums)
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect from the Book of Common Prayer for the First Sunday of Advent
INTRODUCTION: This is my 4th year of posting an Advent Calendar on AMOROMA. I remember Advent Calendars from my childhood, and over the years I shared them with my own kids, Emily and Peter. We would look forward to opening a window and revealing a picture, and sometimes a verse, relating to Christmas.
Previous years in Rome I have posted Roman Windows, Roman Doors, and Roman Gates. This year I will continue my Advent Calendar tradition with Roman Angels. Each day you will be able to log in and see a different angel that I have encountered here in Rome.
This is an angel by Bernini on the Ponte Sant' Angelo.
O come, o come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emanuel shall come to thee, O Israel. 9th Century Latin hymn
On Sunday, October 31, Vincenzo joined 20,000 runners in the Athens Classic Marathon. This year marked 2500 years since the 42km distance was first covered by a Greek messenger running from Marathon to Athens to spread word of victory in battle.
This is Vincenzo finishing the race in the Panathinaiko Stadium, used for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 - the Games that saw the introduction of the competitive marathon race. (Vincenzo’s time was 3:47:10.)
Here are two versions of the “original” finish in 490 BC.
“The Soldier of Marathon Announcing the Victory.”
Marble sculpture by Jean-Pierre Corlot (1787-1843).