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O Antiphons

O Antiphons

December 21, 2019

At monasteries, the week before Christmas is marked by the singing of the O Antiphons at Vespers.  This tradition goes back to at least the 9th century.  By the twelfth century, the O Antiphons appeared in the popular Christmas hymn we know today as O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

The Antiphons were originally written in Latin with each day highlighting a different title belonging to the long awaited Messiah.  They begin on December 17th with  O Sapientia (Wisdom). Then continued  each subsequent day with O Adonai (Lord), O Radix Jesse  (Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (Key of David),  O Oriens (Day Spring), O Rex Gentium (King of the Nations), and finally O Emmanuel on December 23rd.  Taking the first letter of these titles in a reverse order forms the acrostic Ero Cras or Tomorrow I will Be (Coming).”

Sr Gertrude offers a reflection for each day of the O Antiphons as we approach the feast of Christmas.  Click on the O Antiphon above for more.

Christ is Born!  Let us Glorify Him!

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