Greetings on this third day of the final days of Advent. O Radix Jesse!
"O Flower of Jesse's stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid."
Today's O Antiphon immediately brings me a chuckle as I remember an event in my childhood. At my home parish, Saint Charles in Woburn, Massachusetts, we had quite the weekend Mass schedule throughout the 1960's, 70's, and early 80's.
With four priests in the rectory, our pastor, Monsignor Christopher C. O'Neill, believed in serving the people by providing as many Masses as possible. This was the weekend schedule (and I am not joking here!)
Saturday: 4:00, 5:00, and 7:00 P.M.
Sunday Morning: 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 Noon in English, and 12:00 Noon in Spanish
Sunday Evening: 4:00, 5:15, 7:30 P.M.
That's right, 14 weekend Masses. And there was music at every one of them except the first three Sunday morning Masses. We had a cantor who sang most of the Masses; his name was Mark.
I will never forget the Fourth Sunday of Advent one year.
Standing tall, next to the ambo, was the large Jesse tree, basically a giant, dead, leaf-less tree, with lots of Jesse tree ornaments all over it. For some reason, as Mark was singing the responsorial psalm on that day, the tree started to bend in his direction, until it finally began to fall right on top of him as he chanted the psalm. He very calmly put up his left hand and held the tree up and never missed a word or a note of the psalm. When it was finished, the altar servers came to his aid and all was well with Mark and the Jesse tree again.
"Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid."
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.