O Emmanuel (December 23)

Today we come to the end of the O Antiphons – perhaps the one that most people know, thanks to the Advent hymn inspired by it: “O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God!” The name ‘Emmanuel’ – meaning ‘with us is God’ – comes from the book … Read more

O Rex Gentium (December 22)

Today is the penultimate day of the O Antiphons, and what a grand one it is: “O King of all nations and keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!” There is a quote about when a man ceases to worship God, he will end up worshipping anything. Though … Read more

O Oriens (December 21)

Throughout C.S. Lewis’ book The Great Divorce, there is the constant anticipation of the coming dawn, the morning light that will shine on a people who have been looking for illumination all their lives. Throughout the story, we are introduced to characters whose search have brought them to the edge of heaven – theirs to … Read more

O Clavis David (December 20)

Today’s fourth of the O Antiphons speaks of the Lord as the key: “O Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness!” This language comes from Isaiah 22:22, alluding to the authority of the one chosen by God, according to the house of David. Keys signify … Read more

O Sapientia – the first of the O Antiphons (December 17)

Today we begin the octave before Christmas, during which we have one of O Antiphons each day. These antiphons are part of Vespers – Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. If you recognize these, it is probably because they form the basis for the Advent hymn ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ – though … Read more