Advent: O Antiphons

Over the last five years the Advent Antiphons have particularly resonated with me as we journey through advent. Originally the verses were used at daily prayer in the evenings of the last days of Advent, each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of the attributes mentioned in Scripture:

Dec 17 O SapientiAdvent doora – Wisdom. "O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High. You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner. O come to teach us the way of truth." Isaiah 11:2-3

Dec 18 O Adonai – Lord. "O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave him the Law on Sinai. O come and save us with your mighty power." Isaiah 11:4-5

Dec 19 O Radix Jesse – Root of Jesse. "O root of Jesse, you stand as a signal for the nations; kings fall silent before you whom the peoples acclaim. O come to deliver us, do not delay." Isaiah 11:1, 10

Dec 20 O Clavis David – Key of David. "O key of David and sceptre of Israel, what you open no one else can close again; what you close no one can open. O come to lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death." Isaiah 9:7, 22:22

Dec 21 O Oriens – Morning Star. "O Rising Sun, you are the splendour of eternal light and the sun of justice. O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death." Isaiah 9:2

Dec 22 O Rex Gentium – King of the nations. "O King whom all the peoples desire, you are the cornerstone which makes all one. O come and save us who you made from clay." Isaiah 9:6

Dec 23 O Emmanuel – Emmanuel. "O Emmanuel, you are our king and judge, the One whom the peoples await and their Saviour. O come and save us, Lord, our God." Isaiah 7:14

The first letters of the titles taken backwards form a Latin acrostic “Ero Cras” “Tomorrow I will be there”.

As we journey through advent it is great to be able to join with the wider catholic (throughout the world and throughout time) church.

O Come, O come, Immanuel and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear. 

PS: If you want to use the words and readings I've used, along with powerpoint slides and images just ask. I've often used them at the start of midnight communion on Christmas eve .

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