Dec 232019

Today’s antiphon (last of the week) is O Emmanuel. The title photo is not quite right.  The correct transliteration of the syllable “with” should be /ngimma/ — no matter, you get the idea.


O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.


O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,
the hope of the nations and their Saviour:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Isaiah had prophesied:

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

The Hebrew  עִמָּנוּאֵל  is both simple and complicated. The translation is straightforward – “With us is God” (0r, more smoothly, God is with us).  I’ll spare you too much of the complex theology.  In brief, you can believe that God is this transcendent, unknowable, all-powerful otherness or you can believe that God is your pal (or perhaps both).  “God is with us” emphasizes the second.  It lies at the heart of the Advent hymn, O Come, O Come Immanuel, which is a paraphrase of all the antiphons – with the last antiphon being first! Very Christian order.

Today’s recipe has to be my wife’s Kentucky eggnog.  She made it once for Christmas and once for New Year – religiously.  If you have not had homemade eggnog, you don’t know eggnog.  Be warned – this recipe calls for raw eggs, and some people have allergies. Be careful about your source too, and make sure the eggs are absolutely fresh. Use the best bourbon you can find.  Originally my wife used gold bonded Maker’s Mark but this is impossible to find now (when we were last at the distillery, they said that all gold bond has been bought by Japanese companies for years to come).

Kentucky Eggnog

12 very fresh eggs, separated
3 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 bottle bourbon
2 cups milk
6 cups heavy cream

fresh nutmeg


In a large punchbowl beat the egg yolks until frothy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat again. Stir in the milk and cream. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture very gently. Pour the bourbon in down the side of the bowl.  Stir gently with a ladle, and then pour out a cup immediately.  Top with some freshly grated nutmeg, and hold on to your hat as you drink it. It is potent. (You can reduce the amount of bourbon if you wish).

Merry Christmas