I love the whole idea that the Church is some great, well oiled mega power bent on taking over the world spawning books and movies about secret societies and codes and spying and etc . . . Conveniently enough it keeps minds off our own government that is spying on us . . .
That being said, there are secret messages that even unknowing Catholics (and non-Catholic Christians) send out of which they may be completely unaware. It is a little bit like playing records backwards (popular in the ‘80s if I recall) and finding Satanic messages. In this case however, it is promoting the message of the Church.
Here is the secret to the secret message:
First some background: Many people do not realize that the first part of advent is not about the coming of Christ at Christmas, all the prayers of Mass and Liturgy of the Hours and etc. tend to be focused on the SECOND coming of Christ. We wait of the second coming as the Jewish people waited (and indeed some still wait) for the first. Starting on December 17th, we start making immediate preparations for Jesus’ birth at Christmas. (By the by, the word “Christmas” is derived from “Christ’s Mass Day.” Is it any wonder so many people want to rid us of this nasty word. Do non-Catholics realize what they are saying when they say, “Merry Christmas???) Secret, subversive, Catholic code #1.)
But I digress. On December 17th, the official prayers of the Church change in nature to focus on the upcoming Christmas holiday. (By the by again, “holiday” comes from two words whose definition is “holy” and “day” and means a religious holiday and a day of recreation. So even though we fight against it, when we say, “Happy Holidays!” we are, in a sense, wishing people a joyous religious observance. There is the subversive and secretive Catholic code #2)
But again I digress. So starting on this day, we start praying the “O Antiphons” during vespers (the official evening prayer of the Catholic Church) just before proclaiming the Magnificat. The O Antiphons give the titles of the coming Messiah as presented in the Old Testament – one for each day. You know these. You sing at least some of them every year in the carol, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” which is most appropriately sung starting December 17th, not the first day of Advent.
So here are the titles; O Sapientia (Wisdom,) O Adonai (O Sacred Lord,) O radix Jessi (O Flower of Jesse’s Stem,) O Clavis David (O Key of David,) O Oriens (O Radiant Dawn,) O Rex Gentium (O King of All Nations,) O Emmanuel (a name which means God with Us.) Now take the first letter of each title: SARCORE and on the last day, the day before Christmas, reverse the letters and you get EROCRAS or, in Latin, “Ero cras.” Translated into English this means, “Tomorrow I come!”
Secret, subversive Catholic code #3. Is that cool or what?
For more information go here.