O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
Come, shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death.
O Radiant Dawn points both to the image of dawns light as good triumph over evil, and as the beginning of a new day, and also the dawn of creation. Christ at the dawn of creation emphasizes his eternity that is the alpha and the omega. He too is that light of truth that triumphs over the darkness of sin. The beginning of a new day is the beginning of his good news that is the gospel of the New Testament. In the catholic liturgy celebration “ad orientem” is the priest facing east towards this Radiant Dawn, symbolized by the rising sun during the celebration of the Mass. On Easter at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre orthodox priests emerge from the tomb with lit candles emphasizing Christ as the Light of the World. The lighting of the Paschal candle too reminds us that Christ is the light of the world and his presence among us.
How does this relate to the birth of Jesus? In Italian the phrase to give birth is “Dare alla Luce” which literally translates to “to give to the light”. This is the birth of that light,O Radiant Dawn.. .
O Come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death’s dark shadow put to flight.