On December 17th, Advent takes a turning point, as we move closer to the celebration of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem. During this time, each day is characterised by the ‘O Antiphons,’ ancient words dating as far back as the sixth century.
Each Antiphon tops and tails the Magnificat canticle at Evening Prayer, and is also used at the ‘Alleluia‘ Gospel Acclamation at Mass. Beginning with an ‘O’ to Christ, and addressing him with a particular title found in Scripture, we ask him to accomplish something in our lives. In themselves they can become a beautiful prayer for each day as we approach Christmas.
From 17th to 23rd December, we’ll be sharing a short reflection here for each ancient Antiphon, and how they may be applied to our own lives and experiences today, so please feel free to check back each day!
The ‘O’ Antiphons
December 17: O Wisdom of the Most High, ordering all things with strength and gentleness, come and teach us the way of truth”
December 18: O Ruler of the House of Israel, who gave the law to Moses on Sinai, come and save us with outstretched arm.
December 19: O Root of Jesse, set up as a sign to the peoples, come to save us, and delay no more.
December 20: O Emmanuel, our king and lawgiver, come and save us, Lord our God.
December 21: O Key of David, who open the gates of the eternal kingdom, come to liberate from prison the captive who lives in darkness.
December 22: O King of the peoples and cornerstone of the Church, come and save man, whom you made from the dust of the earth.
December 23: O Morning star, radiance of eternal light, sun of justice, come and enlighten those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death.