Thursday, December 17, 2009

First of the Advent O Antiphons

The “Oh Antiphons” are an ancient tradition of the church.

They are prayers that begin today, December 17 and continue until Christmas Even Each begins with the exclamation "O" and ends with a plea for the Messiah to come. 

As Christmas approaches the cry becomes increasingly urgent. The hymn “Oh Come Oh Come Emanuel” is based upon the antiphons.

The first letter of each invocation, when read backwards, forms an acrostic in Latin: the first letters of Sapientia, Adonai, Radix, Clavis, Oriens, Rex, and Emmanuel in reverse form the Latin words: ERO CRAS. 

 These can be understood as the words of Christ, responding to his people's plea, saying "Tomorrow I will be there."

Today’s Antiphon is Sapientia, Wisdom .

And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness. And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord, He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears.Isaiah 11:2-3
O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!


  1. And oh please let the record show that Wisdom (Sophia/Shekhinah) is always expressed in the feminine!

  2. Yea I should have done more with that. Next year.