O Antiphons for Aleppo (or Halab)

The O antiphons begin on December 17, but first this poem by Richard Bott, naming so many more days, incarnate, cruciform.

As of today – four years, four months, three weeks and four days.
That’s how long the Battle of Aleppo has been going on.
Almost a tenth of my life.
A third of my child’s life.
And the end of tens of thousands
upon tens of thousands
of lives.
Combattants.
Non-combattants.
Children.

Richard Bott

O Antiphons for Aleppo

O Wisdom,
when too much knowledge
and too much news
about too many days of disaster
numb our compassion,
come and teach us
by the faces, the cries,
and the tweets of children.

O Leader of divided houses,
giver beyond law, of love,
come to rescue survivors of rubble
those who flee
the executions of the powerful!

O Root of Jesse trees
white with paper symbols cut
by Christian children,
and signs of Allah’s love for all people,
come to save us from one another
and from ourselves.

O Key of hearts,
key of sanctuaries and borders,
of razorwire and drone,
come and open
all that is closed by fear,

and Dayspring so bright,
come and wake us,
dozing past the sorrows of Syria,
so we do not unshine
a powerful light on injustice,
or let it hide in
the shadows of death,

and Desire of all nations,
come and save us
from the real desires of nations –
for power,
retribution and wealth.

O come, Emmanuel,
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
God with us in Aleppo,
come and lead us
to your manger of the broken —
hospitals, schools, homes,
and hopes.

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2 Responses to O Antiphons for Aleppo (or Halab)

  1. Amen! Powerful Message & Prayer! Thank you Maren.

  2. Maren says:

    Thank you, Cleo.

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