O Antiphons – December 17-23

O Antiphons – December 17-23

Fr. Walter and James Wetzel are offering a daily meditation on the
O Antiphons. The daily mediations can be found HERE

One of the most beloved hymns of advent is ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’ or ‘Veni, Veni Emmanuel‘. Each verse paraphrases one of the seven great Advent ‘O Antiphons’ which are the antiphons for the Magnificat at Vespers appointed for the last days of Advent, December 17-23. Every verse begins with a Messianic title and then continues by referencing a prophesy of Isaiah.

December 17: O Sapientia (Wisdom)
December 18: O Adonai (Lord)
December 19: O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse)
December 20: O Clavis David (Key of David)
December 21: O Oriens (Dayspring)
December 22: O Rex Genium (King of the nations)
December 23: O Emmanuel (God-with-us)

The French Benedictine monks who originally composed these antiphons designed them as an acrostic. Spelling-out the first letter of each title, the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” Thus even while we are focusing on the daily aspect of each antiphon, we are reminded of Christ’s coming.