Advent

DSCF0890
This year’s Advent Wreath at The Hermitage.

The Great “O” Antiphons are seven brief prayers that are traditionally chanted or sung on successive evenings starting on December 17. The precise origin of these texts is unknown. However, by the 8th and 9th centuries, the church in Rome and monastic communities throughout western Europe were using them at evening worship services during the season of Advent. These ancient supplications beautifully express the Christian church’s profound yearning for her long expected Savior. They continue to be part of the seasonal devotions of many churches today. The Great “O” Antiphons form the basis of the popular Advent hymn, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel by English hymnographer John Neale.
o-antiphons-symbols
17 December: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other,
mightily and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

18 December: O Adonai (O Lord)
O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.

19 December: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.

20 December: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

21 December: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
O Morning Star,
splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

An interesting video documentary on the O Antiphons is found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rax3PgPfF-A

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” can be heard at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_2oh42E1_U

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: