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You’re Invited to Pray the “O Antiphons”

December 16, 2014

Great O AntiphonsSince at least the sixth century, the “O Antiphons” have been part of the Advent Season, giving expression to our Advent longing for the Light.  In Anglican Tradition, these prayers, each of which sets forth an aspect of Jesus’ majesty from the book of the prophet Isaiah, are used as antiphons to the Magnificat at Evening Prayer from December 16 through 23.

I invite us to offer them together from our hearts each day as the Dawn of Our Lord’s Nativity approaches.

O Sapientia: O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.  

O Adonai: O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free. 

O Radix Jesse: O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; monarchs stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.

O Clavis David: O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of Heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom. 

O Oriens: O Radiant Dawn, splendour of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

O Rex Gentium: O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of humanity, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust. 

O Emmanuel: O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Saviour of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God. 


For more information about the “O Antiphons,” you can click here, and then type in stpaulscalgary as your email address and God’s Grace as your password, to access a document entitled “0025. What are the ‘O Antiphons’  (2008).”

The Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” which is based on the “O Antiphons,” is embedded below.

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