"O" Antiphons, start Dec 17th
The "O" Antiphons start on Dec 17 and carry through to Dec .23 rd. There are 7 Antiphons altogether and said for 7 days before Christmas Eve
The "O Antiphons", also called the "Greater Antiphons" are prayers that come from the Breviary's Vespers during the Octave before Christmas Eve, called the "Golden Nights." Each Antiphon addresses Jesus with a title which comes from the prophecies of Isaias and Micheas and whose initials, read backwards, form a composition for the Latin "Ero Cras" which means "Tomorrow I come."
Those titles for Christ are: Sapientia, Adonai, Radix Jesse, Clavis David, Oriens, Rex Gentium, Emmanuel.
Sapientia- meaning Wisdom
And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness. And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord, He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears.
This also is come forth from the Lord God of hosts, to make his counsel wonderful, and magnify justice
Adonai-means Lord of Israel
But he shall judge the poor with justice, and shall reprove with equity the meek of the earth and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. And justice shall be the girdle of his loins and faith the girdle of his reins.
For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king: he will save us.
Radix Jesse-means Root of Jesse
And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root.
In that day the root of Jesse, who standeth for an ensign of the people, him the Gentiles shall beseech, and his sepulchre shall be glorious. Micheas 5:1
Now shalt thou be laid waste, O daughter of the robber they have laid siege against us, with a rod shall they strike the cheek of the judge of Israel.
Clavis David-means Key of David
And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder and he shall open, and none shall shut and he shall shut, and none shall open.
For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.
Oriens-means Radiant Dawn
The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen
Rex Gentium-means King of all nations and the Gentiles
His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace He shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever, the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
And He shall judge the Gentiles, and rebuke many people and they shall turn their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into sickles nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they be exercised any more to war.
Emmanuel-God is with us
Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and His name shall be called Emmanuel.
One is prayed each evening at Vespers time. To pray the O Antiphons as in the Divine Office, begin with the Antiphon, then pray the Magnificat and repeat the Antiphon.
O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence.
O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm.
O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Whom the Gentiles shall seek, come to deliver us, do not tarry.
O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth, come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.
O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof. O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth.
O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God.
O COME, O COME, EMMANUEL !