- O King of the nations, and their desire,
- the cornerstone making both one:
- Come and save the human race,
- which you fashioned from clay.
Category Archives: O Antiphons
Yesterday I had a moment of spontaneous prayer-writing as I prepared the O Clavis David post. The words that came to me were:
We await the dawn, the coming of the Son of Justice, opening the door to lead us out of darkness and into the light!
Today we have the O Antiphon in which that door opens – O Oriens! Or O Rising Sun! This is why I always stand in awe of how the Holy Spirit works. While it was not my intention to connect one day to the next in quite that way, as usual, God has other plans. Better ones than we have.
About four years ago I read a book about liturgy and worship, I believe that it was by Nathan Mitchell. I can’t find the book right now, so that’s as accurate as I can get at the moment.
Mitchell was talking about the communal nature of liturgy and of how networks arise. Trust me – it made sense in the book, which I hope to get my hands on and quote more directly. He wrote about the roots of rhizomes, which unlike tree roots, that go deep, reach out to connect to one another. While I have thought of this many times over the years, I never thought of it in relationship to this O Antiphon until today. Continue reading
Adonai, which also means Lord, has some other meanings as well. This is one of my own personal challenges with more literal translations. Words have cultural values as well and their meanings are often expressed through the context of the time in which they are used.
December 17th marks the beginning of the O Antiphons.
From the linked article:
The “O Antiphons” refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, Dec. 17-23, with Dec. 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil.
The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of of the church as we literally “pray through the day.” Many of us in the secular life use an abbreviated form of this prayer, but in monasteries, convents and all sorts of places, this is prayed daily.
Vespers is the Continue reading
This is the last O Antiphon before Christmas, O Emmanuel, no translation here… simply, O Emmanuel, which we know means, “God with us.”
O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
expectratio gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos,
Domines, Deus noster.
O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver,
desire of the nations, Savior of all people:
Come and set us free, Lord our God.
Yes, our Savior comes – He comes to set us free! Have a blessed and beautiful Christmas, one and all!
Today our O Antiphon is O Rex Gentium, or O, King of All The Nations! Jesus the Christ leads us all, he is our Lord and King!
O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.
O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart;
O Keystone of the mighty arch of man:
O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae,
et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris,
et umbra mortis.
O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
Come, shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death.
Michelle Francl-Donnay is a friend that I have only met through blogs and Facebook. She authors a beautiful blog entitled Quantum Theology. Michelle is a chemistry professor, a cantor at her Catholic parish and the author of a regular column published in the Catholic Standard of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. She is a prolific writer actually and you might catch her work in any number of places.
If you look at the bulletin that you picked up at church this weekend, you will find some words about the O Antiphons from Michelle on the cover. No – I did not put them there, but I am always thrilled to find them there; her words convey much wisdom in my experience.
Michelle podcasts from time to time and I find her voice so soothing and inviting. Today I was thrilled to discover that she had a short podcast up about the O Antiphons. Since we are spending time with them ourselves this week, I thought I would share her words here. I tried to embed the player, but it would not work, so just click here to go to the podcast.
Today we have the name for the Messiah, O Clavis David – or Key of David. Yes, from the Root of Jesse came David and ultimately Jesus. Now we go further, the Key of David which will open the doors of the Kingdom to set us free.
O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel,
qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperuit:
veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
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.