I am the bright morning star (Rev. 22:16)
The Revelation of John is the last book in the New Testament. It is about the future of the world and therefore also about my future. The world will pass away, God will appear in his glory. In this context there are two wonderful metaphors about Jesus in the last chapter:
I am the root and the Origin of David, the bright morning star (Rev. 22:16). Both pictures fit well into the time of Advent. For our last monthly lecture, I chose the second image: the bright morning star.
The morning star in the liturgy
A Spiritual Exercise for Advent: Look for prayers, texts, and songs that feature the morning star. That shouldn’t be difficult in Advent.
O-Antiphon (Vespers from December 17): You morning star (December 22)
Morning Star Songs
The night has advanced (GL 220)
God holy creator of all stars (GL 230)
How beautifully the morning star shines on us (GL 357)
Morning star of the dark night (GL 372
Hymn of Lauds (Sunday 1st week)
O eternal creator of all the world,
reigns day and night,
you set the times their time
give change in the course of time.
The rooster, the herald of the day, calls,
the guardian in the dark.
His cry separates the night from the night,
a light to the wanderer at night.
Then the morning star rises
illuminates the black firmament,
then the crowd of dark powers gives way
shy away from the path of evil.
Then the skipper feels new strength,
the surf of the sea softens,
the rock of the church, Peter, weeps,
regrets the guilt at cockcrow.
So, get up quickly from sleep:
The rooster wakes up everyone who is still dreaming.
The rooster harasses the tardy,
the rooster accuses the deniers.
hope awakens at cockcrow,
and relief will flow to the sick.
The robber abandons his actions,
Fallen trust again.
Lord when we fall, look at us
and heal us through your gaze.
Your look erases error and sin,
our guilt dissolves in tears.
You light, penetrate our spirit,
drive sleep away from our hearts,
the first word is dedicated to you,
our morning praise praise you.
More than a fixed star
When we talk about the morning star (or evening star), we like to look for a fixed star in the evening or morning sky. But the liturgical texts and songs mean more than a fixed star in the sky with the image of the morning star. It’s about experiencing the dawning day and the associated light after experiencing the darkness of the night.
Then the morning star rises, illuminates the black firmament…
Then the skipper feels new strength, the waves of the sea soften, …
I quickly become disoriented in the dark, I can’t find my way, I’m unsure. As soon as the light appears, I can find my way around, orient myself, security comes back.
Spiritual Exercise: How do I orientate myself in my life?
Hope awakens at the crowing of the cock, and relief streams to the sick.
The robber lets the fallen trust in his deeds anew.
Many are afraid of the dark. Children in front of the “black man” (whoever that might mean). Old people no longer dare to go out at night for fear of being mugged. And after a night of pain, the sick long for the new morning.
The liturgy knows another night: the night of sin and guilt.
The Advent song “The night has advanced” describes wonderfully how God deals with our guilt.
The night is already fading, make your way to the stable!
You shall find salvation there, the course of all times
Proclaimed from the beginning, since your sin happened.
Now you have an alliance, whom God himself has chosen.
This night is also mentioned in the ‘Exsultet’ of the Easter Vigil. But guilt has found a redeemer. It is no coincidence that the ‘Exsultet’ ends with a reference to the “morning star that does not set”, to Jesus Christ.
Prelate Dr. Stefan Dybowski