Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The O Antiphons

Since the middle ages, they’ve been said or sung at evening prayer, one each per evening, the seven days leading up to Christmas eve. They are a plea to God from His people to send the Messiah and save them.
Each verse highlights a title of the Messiah and a prophecy from Isaiah:
O Sapientia
(O Wisdom),
O Adonai
(O Lord),
O Radix Jesse
(O Root of Jesse),
O Clavis David (O Key of David),
O Oriens
(O Rising Sun),
O Rex Gentium
(O King of the Gentiles), and
O Emmanuel
(O God-with-us).

What’s cool is what you can see when you get to Christmas eve! You’ve just sung “O Emmanuel” (O “God with us”). You look back at the verses you’ve sung each day the previous week, and if you read the first letter of each verse (in Latin), you see the letters formed:

Er o C r a s

Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia which mean:

“Tomorrow, I will come.”

The "Golden Nights" begin tomorrow, December 17th. Won't you join our family in preparing for the celebration of our Lord's birth? Each day for the next seven days I will be posting the O Antiphon for the day. Tradition has it that the O Antiphon is prayed, the Magnificat, then the O Antiphon is repeated. This is a new tradition for the Creamer family. We will say our prayers before meal time and light our Advent wreath.
To hear these beautiful prayers chanted in Latin, CLICK HERE.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Thankyou for posting this. I was hoping, looking, waiting?? for something special to do this last week of advent. Everything I found was for little ones and my older two were sighing....
This it perfect.
Have a blessed week.