One of the most beloved hymns of Advent is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” Each verse paraphrases one of the seven Great “O Antiphons” which are sung as the appointed antiphons of the Magnificat at Vespers (Evening Prayer) for the last days of Advent, December 17–23. Every day’s text begins with a Messianic title (e.g. O Sapientia (Wisdom), O Adonai (Lord), O Emmanuel (God-with-us) that gives each day its sobriquet. Fr. Walter and James Wetzel examine the textual and musical tradition of these famous liturgical sentences, as well as the prophecies of Isaiah from which they are derived.
December 23: O Emmanuel (God-with-us)
Fr. Walter and James Wetzel discuss ) O Emmanuel. View the video HERE.
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!
December 22: O Rex Gentium (King of the nations)
Fr. Walter and James Wetzel discuss O Rex Gentium. View the video HERE.
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
December 21: O Oriens (Dayspring)
Fr. Walter and James Wetzel discuss O Oriens. View the video HERE.
O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.
December 20: O Clavis David (Key of David)
Fr. Walter and James Wetzel discuss O Clavis David. View the video HERE.
O Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
December 19: O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse)
Fr. Walter and James Wetzel discuss O Radix Jesse. View the video HERE.
O Root of Jesse’s stem, sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!
December 18: O Adonai (Lord)
Fr. Walter and James Wetzel discuss O Adonai. View the video HERE.
O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!
December 17: O Sapientia (Wisdom)
Fr. Walter and James Wetzel discuss O Sapienta. View the video HERE
O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!