December 17 – 23 O Antiphons: I love Advent! I enjoy celebrating/praying the “O Antiphons” at Marywood. We gather every night for Vespers and sing the prophesies, chant the psalms, reflect on a preaching from a member in the community, followed by the Magnificat. An impressive group of people join us each night regardless of the very cold weather we’ve been having. Apparently, the O Antiphons is enjoyed by many others too! 😊
The O Antiphons, also known as “The Great ‘O’s” are Magnificat used at Vespers of the last seven days of Advent in Western Christian traditions. They are also used as the Alleluia Verses on the same days in the post-1970 form of the Catholic Mass.
They are referred to as the "O Antiphons" because the title of each one begins with the vocative particle "O". Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture. They are:
· 17 December: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
· 18 December: O Adonai (O Lord)
· 19 December: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
· 20 December: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
· 21 December: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
· 22 December: O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)
· 23 December: O Emmanuel (O God is With Us)
The first letters of the titles, from last to first, appear to form a Latin acrostic which translates to "Tomorrow, I will be [there]", mirroring the theme of the antiphons. "According to Robert Greenberg of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one - Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia - the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, "Tomorrow, I will come". Therefore, the Lord Jesus, whose coming we have prepared for in Advent and whom we have addressed in these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to us, Tomorrow, I will come. So the O Antiphons not only bring intensity to our Advent preparation, but bring it to a joyful conclusion.
One week from today we will be well into the Christmas Season – celebrating the Second Day of Christmas! I want to take this time to wish each of you a safe and Blessed Christmas. I hope you get to spend it with family and loved ones. May the New Year guide you in your discernment to God’s Dream for you! Count on my continued prayers for you!