During the novena before Christmas the Church has us sing the wondrous O Antiphons. Each one revels in a title of the coming Messiah: Wonder-Counselor, Prince of Peace, etc.
Now Christmas has passed, even the three kings have left “by another route” to return to their own lands. Everything has returned to the regular routine. We are left in awe of the ordinary.
Ordinary Time is the name given to the liturgical periods between major seasons such as Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. I, for one, believe there should be O Antiphons for Ordinary Time. In terms of Jesus’ life, Ordinary Time corresponds to the days, months, and years when Jesus lived simply as “the son of the carpenter.” Most of our days are filled with the routine and normal. We feel our lives are so ordinary, but really every day is a celebration steeped in the extraordinary. That these days run along in an orderly fashion is about the only ordinary thing about them. They are caught up, as is every other day of redemption, in the sacramental cycle of liturgy and grace – so very out of the ordinary.
Time is the most ordinary and the most extraordinary thing. And so, I’d like to propose O Antiphons for Ordinary Time. Because every single day is a day of grace, we can proclaim: “O, the glory of it! ” Every day is blessed because of our baptism and because it leads us toward the moment of our final summons. “O, the magnificence of so normal a cycle of life and death held together by each blessed breath!”
“O, the service we give to the near and dear, to the lonely and forsaken. Our hearts, our hearths, our time, and our treasure are recklessly spent on those in need of mercy.”
There are also the silent moments and the shared moments, the anxious and the glad moments.
“The great celebration of eternity is wrapped up in each moment of time. For our every ordinary day, O God, we praise you!”