Today we begin the 'O Antiphons'! These antiphons are prayed immediately before the Magnificat during Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours from December 17-23, marking the octave of celebration leading up to the joyous nativity of the Lord. Each antiphon points toward a different title of the Messiah, prophecies spoken by Isaiah, and the nearness of Christmas. Also, as noted by Professor Robert Greenberg, these antiphons seem to have been arranged with a purpose in mind: if you take the first letter of each Latin title in order of their closeness to Christmas, you find the phrase 'ero cras,' which in Latin means "I will come tomorrow." Pretty neat! For more info, check out Fr. William Saunders' post HERE.
Beginning with this post, I will be posting each of the antiphons and maybe an accompanying musical setting for reflection as we close in on these final days of Advent.
O Antiphon for December 17:
Latin: O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter, suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.
English: 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.
Reflection: Isaiah had prophesied, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” (11:2-3), and “Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom.” (28:29).