O Wisdom from the most high, O Antiphons of AdventDuring Advent, from December 17-23, the O Antiphons are sung during Evening Prayer. We recognize them in a modified version as they appear in the Advent hymn O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

The Antiphons

From Catholic Online:

There are seven short verses sung before the Magnificat during Evening Prayer of the Church on the seven days before the vigil of Christmas. They each begin with the exclamation “O”. Each of them ends with a plea for the Messiah to come. As Christmas approaches the cry becomes more urgent.

The antiphons were composed in the seventh or eighth century when monks put together texts from the Old Testament which looked forward to the coming of our salvation. They form a rich mosaic of scriptural images. These seven verses, or antiphons as they are called, appear to be the originals although from time to time other texts were used. They became very popular in the Middle Ages. While the monastic choirs sang the antiphons the great bells of the church were rung.

A curious feature of these antiphons is that the first letter of each invocation may be taken from the Latin to form an acrostic in reverse.

So the first letters of Sapientia, Adonai, Radix, Clavis, Oriens, Rex, and Emmanuel, provide the Latin words: ERO CRAS . The phrase spells out the response of Christ himself to the heartfelt prayer of his people: “Tomorrow I will be there”.

Visit Catholic Online for the full post and USCCB for more detail about each of the daily O antiphons listed below:

O Sapientia! O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge!December 17

O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!

 O Antiphons of Advent, Ruler of the house of Israel, O AdonaiDecember 18

O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!

O Radix JesseDecember 19

O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!

O Clavis David O Antiphons of AdventDecember 20

O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!

O OriensDecember 21

O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.

O Rex Gentium O Antiphons of AdventDecember 22

O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!


O Emmanuel O Antiphons of AdventDecember 23

O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!


O Antiphons Posted Daily

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