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:
Today’s O Antiphon is O Radix Jesse, or Root of Jesse. I am always comforted when I think of how King David was chosen, from the root of Jesse. He was the unlikely one – as is The Christ. Think about unlikely so many things are in your life, and then consider all of that against these things. All things are possible with God.
O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.
O Flower of Jesse’s stem,
you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples;
kings stand silent in your presence;
the nations bow down in worship before you.
Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.
Today is the second day of the O Antiphons. If you did not read yesterday’s post, I am going to post one O Antiphon for the 7 days on which they are used as the antiphon for the Magnificat at Vespers. The antiphons are different names for the Messiah and today’s is O Adonai.
I am late in assembling this post and gratefully so because of something I found this morning. Adonai, which also means Lord, has some other meanings as well. This is one of my own personal challenges with more literal translations of things in general. (No, I am not complaining about the New Roman Missal, but offering my own perspective about the challenge of translation!) Words have cultural values as well and their meanings are often expressed through the context of the time in which they are used.
Which is why I was interested to read this at the CSJ Prayer Online Advent Calendar, which is written by Baya Clare, CSJ. Baya is in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, but has ties back to our local Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet community in Latham. Baya and our own Sister Rose know each other and this reminds me of the beauty of community.
Baya writes about how the term Adonai also refers to the “bread keeper,” indicating that this “bread keepers'” followers would be fed. And our Lord Jesus comes to us as bread and as our keeper, He certainly does keep us fed.
O Adonai, et dux domus Israel,
qui Moyse in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.
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.
It is December 17 and the O Antiphons are upon us. These antiphons are used, beginning on December 17 and for 7 days, during Vespers. They are sung immediately preceding the Magnificat. During these 7 days, I will post a video for each antiphon.
The antiphons bring us closer to the incarnational event that is Christmas. Make no mistake, we are still in Advent, but our journey to the birth of Christ comes closer and closer. The O Antiphons are each named with the prophecy of Isaiah as a backdrop and each one calls out a name for the messiah.
O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter,
suaviter disponensque omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.
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.