Friday, December 16, 2011

O Antiphons begin December 17

If you have ever sung the advent song "O Come O Come Emmanuel" then you are familiar with the "O Antiphons." 

The seven "O Antiphons"  are prayers that come from the Breviary's Vespers during the Octave before Christmas Eve, a time which is called the "Golden Nights."

Each Antiphon begins with "O" and addresses Jesus with a unique title which comes from the prophecies of Isaiah and Micah, and whose initials, when read backwards, form an acrostic for the Latin "Ero Cras" which means "Tomorrow I come." 

Those titles for Christ are:  
Sapientia - Wisdom
Adonai - Lord of Israel
Radix Jesse - Root of Jesse
Clavis David - Key of David
Oriens - Radiant Dawn, Dayspring
Rex Gentium -King of all Nations/Gentiles
Emmanuel - God With Us

The O Antiphons are the source of the lyrics of the Advent song "Veni, veni Emmanuel" ("Come, O come Emmanuel") which you can hear by clicking here. It would be beautiful for the family to sing this lovely Advent song at the conclusion of the O Antipons. For the lyrics, see the Lyrics and Melodies to Traditional Catholic Hymns page.


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