Tuesday, December 9, 2014

O Antiphons


Another tradition for Advent that I love is the recitation of the “O Antiphons.” Part of the liturgical tradition since the early Church, the O Antiphons are prayers that come from the Breviary's Vespers during the Octave before Christmas, from December 17-23, a time which is called the Golden Nights. Each Antiphon begins with “O” and addresses Jesus with a specific title which is taken from the prophecies of Isaiah. Just as all of Advent is characterized by the longing for the arrival of Christ's birth, the O Antiphons echo this desire and bring an ever greater anticipation for Christmas. Each Antiphon ends with a plea to the Messiah to come.

The titles of Christ found within the O Antiphons in the traditional Latin are: Sapentia (Wisdom), Adonai (Lord of Israel), Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse), Clavis David (Key of David), Oriens (Radiant Dawn), Rex Gentium (King of all Nations), and Emmanuel (God with us). It is believed that in the Middle Ages the Benedictine Monks who prayed the O Antiphons arranged the titles in a definite way. If, beginning with the last title, the first letter of each name is taken, the Latin words “Ero Cras” are formed, which means “Tomorrow I come.” Thus the O Antiphons are a meaningful conclusion to Advent preparations. The prayers are provided below.

To pray the O Antiphons as they are prayed in the Divine Office, recite the Antiphon, then pray the Magnificat, and then repeat the Antiphon. Following the prayers, sing the corresponding verse of “O Come, Emmanuel” with the refrain, a song which originates from the O Antiphons.
***Please notice the correct order of the verses of "O Come, Emmanuel," to sing them with the corresponding O Antiphon, is different than generally printed.  I have noted at the end of each day's prayers which verse should be sung with the refrain.  Both the Latin and the English translations are provided below.

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December 17--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! (Sing verse 2 of “O Come, Emmanuel” with the refrain.)

December 18--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! (Sing verse 3 with the refrain.)

December 19--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. (Sing verse 4 with the refrain.)

December 20--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. (Sing verse 5 with the refrain.)

December 21--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! (Sing verse 6 with the refrain.)

December 22--O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! O Cornerstone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth! (Sing verse 7 with the refrain.)

December 23--O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God! (Sing verse 1 with the refrain.)

Veni, veni Emmanuel/Come, O come, Emmanuel

Veni, veni, Emmanuel
captivum solve Israel,
qui gemit in exsilio,
privatus Dei Filio.

Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni, O Sapientia,
quae hic disponis omnia,
veni, viam prudentiae
ut doceas et gloriae.

Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni, veni, Adonai,
qui populo in Sinai
legem dedisti vertice
in maiestate gloriae.

Gaude, gaude Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni, O Iesse virgula,
ex hostis tuos ungula,
de spectu tuos tartari
educ et antro barathri.

Gaude, gaude Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni, Clavis Davidica,
regna reclude caelica,
fac iter tutum superum,
et claude vias inferum.

Gaude, gaude Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te Israel.

Veni, veni O Oriens,
solare nos adveniens,
noctis depelle nebulas,
dirasque mortis tenebras.

Gaude, gaude Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te Israel.

Veni, veni, Rex Gentium,
veni, Redemptor omnium,
ut salvas tuos famulos
peccati sibi conscios.

Gaude, gaude Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te Israel.

Come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that morns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Wisdom, from on high,
and order all things far and nigh;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, o come, Thou Lord of might,
who to thy tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times did give the law,
in cloud, and majesty, and awe.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse's stem,
form ev'ry foe deliver them
that trust Thy mighty power to save,
and give them vict'ry o'er the grave.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heav'nly home,
make safe the way that leads on high,
that we no more have cause to sigh.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death's dark shadow put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Desire of the nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid every strife and quarrel cease
and fill the world with heaven's peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!
Our Advent wreath with the O Antiphon blocks I made



+JMJ+

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