GOSPEL COMMUNION: 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 26, 2020: 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

One of the suggestions in the 2010 Antiphonary runs

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will not walk in darkness
but will have the light of life.

John 8:12

and this Sunday’s 1st Reading includes the following, quoted by Jesus in the Gospel:

Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in a land of deep shadow
a light has shone.

Isaiah 8:23—9:1 and Matthew 4:15-16

Our antiphon prays that the Light of the World will shine upon us and make us, in our turn, light for the world.

The accompanying verses, interspersed with the Collegeville Composers’ trademark mini-refrains, provide the opening of Isaiah 9, together with verses from Ps 27/26 (The Lord is my light, the Lord is my help).


  1. Paul, between the highly-syncopated rhythm and the length of the refrain, I have a hard time seeing this sung well by a congregation at first sight (which, as a “proper”, they may only see it once a year). Have parishes had good success with this one?

    1. Thanks for the question, Heath.

      Others may have comments, but I am informed that the use of repetition in this antiphon, aided by the mini-refrains in the verses, ensures that congregations do get familiar with the music pretty quickly. It’s also possible to have the people sing just those parts of the antiphon that appear in the mini-refrains, leaving the remainder of the antiphon to cantor or choir.

      Better still, you will find that this setting appears again just two weeks later, on February 9, where it is an even closer fit with the scriptures; so the people have two bites of the cherry in fairy rapid succession.

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