19 March 2011

Antiphon for Divine Office on Feast of St. Joseph

Feast of St. Joseph, March 19
This is the antiphon for the 1st Class Feast of St. Joseph, March 19.  Each phrase is a wonderful meditation on the Christ child and the life of his foster father, St. Joseph.  It is sung in the liturgy of the Divine Office and is said by the priest before the liturgy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on that day, both in the Roman Catholic Rite.  This is a very ancient Gregorian hymn.  
The video below is not a great rendition, but I could not find any other audios of this on the internet for years, and wanted there to be one out there for those who wished to learn it.

My favorite aspects of this meditation is the fact that the more you consider these phrases, the more deeply your heart becomes convicted of the holiness of the man chosen by God to be the foster father of God the Son.   We should consider the honor that God has given to St. Joseph, who preserved himself in perfect purity of heart, body and therefore, of soul, even while he was conceived in concupiscence.  St. Joseph was able to meet the duties of his state chosen for him by God in as magnificent a fashion as the very magnificence of his state.  We can each strive to imitate St. Joseph by being attentive to the presence of Christ in our hearts in our daily lives, as we bear witness by our actions in how we protect the sanctity of Christ, His Bride the Church, the Sacraments and life itself, especially that life made in God's own image.

We can be a small imitation of Joseph when:
  • We 'hear' God in the Word of God.
  • We 'see' God in the Holy Eucharist.
  • We 'embrace' God in our hearts by holy obedience and diligence to our work and duties of state.
  • We 'kiss' God by charity of reverence to holy reverence to Him and all things belonging to Him, and by loving our neighbor for love of Him.
  • We 'clothe' Christ by protecting our own purity (through temperance) and to the degree that we are able, guarding the purity of others (through modesty).
  • We 'guard' Christ by knowing his teachings that have been handed down by him to and through the apostles and defending the teachings of His Holy Bride.  Also, we guard him by honoring him in the Most Blessed Sacrament through reverence in our deportment and worship, and by making everything we do ordered to him that we may receive him worthily.

The 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. Joseph
  • The doubt of Saint Joseph (Matthew 1:19) and the Message of the Angel (Matthew 1:20)
  • The poverty of Jesus' birth (Luke 2:7) and the Birth itself (Luke 2:7)
  • The Circumcision (Luke 2:21) and the Holy Name of Jesus (Matthew 1:25)
  • The prophecy of Simeon that many would be lost (Luke 2:34) and his prophecy that many would rise (Luke 2:34)
  • The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:14) and the Overthrow of idols (Isaias 19:1
  • The return from Egypt (Matthew 2:22) and Life with Mary and Jesus (Luke 2:39)
  • The loss of the Child Jesus (Luke 2:45) and Finding Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:46)

1 comment:

  1. Interesting remark on St. Joseph:
    We know nothing about anything he said, just what he did, yet no man (in human person, as Jesus is a Divine person, and of course, I do not mean "mankind", as the Blessed Mother had an even higher calling, being immaculately conceived that she would give birth to the New Adam, Jesus Christ) has ever had a higher vocation. He was sanctified by God's grace and by living his vocation according to the Will of God, which he discerned constantly, and saw the Will of God even in the authority given to others above him.