February 3: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
Today’s antiphon text takes a phrase (13:7) from Paul’s great panegyric in praise of love in 1 Corinthians which forms the 2nd Reading of today’s Mass. The accompanying canticle text is drawn from John 15, ending “I am giving you these commands / so that you may love one another”, and excerpts from 1 Corinthians 13.
Sung on the way to communion, these words remind us that our eucharistic Lord fulfils the promises he made in the Liturgy of the Word: “I am with you to deliver you” because “I have known you from the first moment of your existence” (1st Reading), “I am your rock, your stronghold, your fortress, your hope, your strength” (Psalm), “you will see me face to face and we will know each other fully” (2nd Reading), and “you will pass through all your difficulties (Gospel). Therefore you can bear, believe, hope, and endure all things.
The antiphon can easily be used as an ostinato without the accompanying verses, the simple repeated melody aided by smooth and beautiful choral harmonies and/or keyboard accompaniment. The antiphon and canticle have also been found very useful at weddings, and are available in Spanish as well as English in the Liturgical Press Psallite bilingual wedding and funeral collection Celebrate, Remember / Celebrar, Recordar.