“O Dayspring, Come” (Malachi 4:1-6; Luke 1:67-79; Revelation 22:16-20)

Third Sunday in Advent
December 12, 2010

“O Dayspring, Come” (Malachi 4:1-6; Luke 1:67-79; Revelation 22:16-20)

The fifth of the seven O Antiphons is our theme for today, “O Dayspring, Come.” You see it there in your hymnal, as well as in your bulletin. Let’s begin by praying this antiphon together: “O Dayspring, splendor of light everlasting: Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.”

The term “Dayspring” is not a word you hear every day. But you are hearing it on this day. We just sang, “O come, Thou Dayspring from on high.” And it comes up in stanzas in two other of our hymns today: “Ah! Thou Dayspring from on high,” we sang earlier; and “Dayspring from on high, be near,” we’ll sing later on. But that’s about it, as far as the exact term is concerned. You don’t even find “Dayspring” in any of our readings today.

Ah, but then again, you do! In our Gospel reading, toward the end, where it says, “whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high,” in another translation it reads, “whereby the dayspring from on high.” Both are translating the same word, with the same meaning; one just says “dayspring”; the other says “sunrise.”

And that’s the sense. “Dayspring” simply means “sunrise,” or “the rising sun,” “the sun rising in the east,” that sort of thing. And so you do see the idea of “Dayspring” running throughout our hymns and readings today, in many places. For example, in the reading from Malachi, it says, “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings.” There “the sun of righteousness” equals “dayspring.” Or in the Book of Revelation, where Jesus says, “I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star,” “bright morning star” is saying the same thing as “dayspring.”

So this is a thoroughly biblical concept, to apply the term to Jesus, and thus the origin of our antiphon, “O Dayspring, come.” And these readings will tell us how it applies, and what Christ being the “dayspring” means for us.


Published in: on December 11, 2010 at 11:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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