About the O Antiphons
The “O Antiphons” are part of the evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours for December 17 to December 23. In them, Old Testament imagery is used to proclaim the coming of the Christ child.
Incorporate them into your family prayer this advent, perhaps when praying at meal time or when lighting your advent wreath. Pause and reflect how each antiphon expresses a different title for the Messiah, giving us insight into how our own lives are changed by the Lord.
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The O Antiphons
December 17 – O Wisdom
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
December 18 – O Leader of Israel
O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!
December 19 – O Root of Jesse
O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!
December 20 – O Key of David
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
December 21 – O Radiant Dawn
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 22 – O King of All
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
December 23 – O Emmanuel
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!
Some thoughts on the connection between the O Antiphons and the song “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”. This music can keep us focused on Advent when there is so much attention given to Christmas.