O Antiphons for the Advent Home Stretch

I interrupt the 10-part series on Campion’s arguments against the Reformation to bring you a few resources for your Advent season. This evening begins the first of what are called the “O Antiphons,” a series of short ancient prayers, traditionally prayed during Vespers. Praying and reflecting upon these prayers is a great way of preparing for Christmas. I’d particularly encourage you to pray them as part of the Church’s evening prayer, Vespers (you can find each day’s prayers under the “Evening Prayers” tab here), or at least with the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).

In 2011, I put together a series of daily reflections on them. I’m posting them below, but I’m aware that there are many other resources out there. For example, the Eastern Province Dominicans are doing a series on these prayers right now that I suspect will be worth following. Fr. Z also has a helpful index. But for whatever it’s worth, here are links to each of my posts from 2011, with a good English translation of the prayers (courtesy of Fr. Z):

O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come, and teach us the way of prudence.
O Lord and Ruler the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: come, and redeem us with outstretched arms.
O Root of Jesse, that stands for an ensign of the people, before whom the kings keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: come, to deliver us, and tarry not.
O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: come, and lead forth the captive who sits in the shadows from his prison.
O Dawn of the East, brightness of light eternal, and sun of justice: come, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
O King of the Gentiles and their desired One, the cornerstone that makes both one: come, and deliver man, whom you formed out of the dust of the earth.

O Emmanuel, God with us, our King and lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Savior: come to save us, O Lord our God.

I’ll get back to the Campion posts soon (probably tomorrow). Have a blessed Advent!

1 Comment

  1. I would also suggest to readers interested in praying these antiphons in their original context to check out divinumofficium.com and select either the 1570, 1910, or Divino Afflatu versions of the Office.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *