Thursday, December 22, 2011

O King of Nations and--Question time!


O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.

O King of nations and their desired one, Cornerstone who binds two into one--come and save man whom you fashioned from the slime of the earth.

This is our two-for-one O Antiphon: King and Keystone.

If anyone out there knows the Latin, check that word for dust/slime. Personally, I'd rather be fashioned from dust.

Probably no one is spending much time pondering the ins and outs of praying the Divine Office this week. What with Christmas preparations, especially for us females, we're lucky there's time to pray the Hours at all, let alone meditate on it's structure, regulations, and history. But if you are enough of a mental multi-tasker to do this, then fire away, and I will scrape the cookie or nut-bread dough off my hands and answer!


  1. It's slime but to be more precise in this instance it's a thin runny mud like the stuff children like to play with.
    -Mike Demers

  2. Thanks, Mike. Mud is dust plus water, right? No algae or slippery gunk required. I can live with that.

  3. I don't think I'd ever noticed the line "cornerstone who binds two into one." I've always been a bit ambivalent about "cornerstone" but seeing the idea of cornerstone uniting two things.... that's something to ponder.

    I see Mike beat me to the answer about slime.

  4. So the question is--what are the "two"? God and man, as in "God and sinners reconciled? Or maybe Jews and Gentiles? Or is it just about uniting any former enemies in a bond of charity, as suggested by the corresponding verse of O Come O Come Emmanuel?

  5. My first thought was God and man. Two natures in one person. And the idea of the cornerstone of the Temple, the place where heaven and earth meet.

    But I rather like the Jews and Gentiles idea as well.

    I suspect that as with most symbols it's not so much an either/or but a both/and. After all St Paul says he reconciles all things in himself. And how cool is that?