August 25 2019 : 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 13:29-30 at the end of today’s Gospel is the inspiration for this antiphon
People will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last.
with its echoes of the 1st Reading with all the nations gathering on the holy mountain of the Lord. The analogy of all gathering at the Table of the Lord scarcely needs pointing out, though it is good to reminded that the last shall be first and the first last.
The antiphon melody is the first half of Arthur Sullivan’s 19th-century adaptation (NOEL) of an old English folk melody (a variant of “Dives and Lazarus”) that is used in the British Isles and Commonwealth countries for the carol “It came upon the midnight clear”. Paired with a 5th-mode reciting tone and two mini-refrains, the verses from Ps 104 are suggested by the Graduale Romanum, and the ICEL 1998 Antiphonal and 2012 Antiphonary.
This antiphon is used again next week.