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O Antiphons of Advent

The Great "O" Antiphons of Advent

To download and print the "Antiphons of Advent", Click Here!

 

 

Antiphons of Advent - Vespers - MagnificatIn the Church's Liturgy of the Hours, Evening Prayer, also know as Vespers, always includes the great prayer of Mary known as the Magnificat.   Each day, the Magnificat is preceded by a short verse or "antiphon" that links the prayer to the feast of the day or the season of the year.  In the last seven days of Advent (December 17-24), the antiphons before the Magnificat are very special.  Each begins with the exclamation "O" and ends with a plea for the Messiah to come. As Christmas approaches the cry becomes increasingly urgent.

 

These moving "O Antiphons" were apparently composed in the seventh or eighth century when monks put together texts from the Old Testament, particularly from the prophet Isaiah, which looked forward to the coming of our salvation. They form a rich, interlocking mosaic of scriptural images. The great "O Antiphons"  became very popular in the Middle Ages when it became traditional to ring the great bells of the church each evening as they were being sung.

 

Each of the O Antiphons highlights a different title for the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel.  Also, each one refers to the prophecy of Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah.  A particularly fascinating feature of the O Antiphons is that 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."

 

Atiphons of Advent - Vespers - MagnificatSaying the O Antiphons as a family, whether during grace at meals, in front of the manger scene, or in front of the Christmas tree, is a wonderful Advent devotion.  To make this devotion even more fruitful, read and meditate together on the Scripture texts on which the antiphons are based.

 

December 17th:
O Sapientia (Is. 11:2-3; 28:29): "O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High. You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner. O come to teach us the way of truth."

 

December 18th:
O Adonai (Is. 11:4-5; 33:22): "O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave him the Law on Sinai. O come and save us with your mighty power."

 

December 19th:
O Radix Jesse (Is. 11:1, 10): "O stock of Jesse, you stand as a signal for the nations; kings fall silent before you whom the peoples acclaim. O come to deliver us, and do not delay."

 

December 20th:
O Clavis David (Is. 9:6; 22:22): "O key of David and scepter of Israel, what you open no one else can close again; what you close no one can open. O come to lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death."

 

December 21st:
O Oriens (Is. 9:1): "O Rising Sun, you are the splendor of eternal light and the sun of justice. O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death."

 

December 22nd:
O Rex Gentium (Is. 2:4; 9:5): "O King whom all the peoples desire, you are the cornerstone which makes all one. O come and save man whom you made from clay."

 

December 23rd:
O Emmanuel (Is. 7:14) : "O Emmanuel, you are our king and judge, the One whom the peoples await and their Savior. O come and save us, Lord, our God."

 

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An Angel at Christmas -
 An Angel at Christmas -  Jimmy has a unique Christmas tradition. Each Christmas Eve he aims his slingshot skyward and fires a personal message to heaven. The custom is Jimmy's little way of saying a special prayer on a special day. He prays that "the infant Jesus will be born in many hearts." One amazing Christmas, his prayer was answered in a most unexpected way. Accompanied by his guardian angel, Jimmy visits the Holy Family, and they encourage him to make his wide-eyed wish come true. Together Jimmy and his "angel buddy" travel the world delivering figures of the infant Jesus to people setting up their Nativity scenes. Join Jimmy on his journey, and don't be surprised if, somewhere along the way, his Christmas prayer becomes your own.

 


 

Kitty Cleveland-The Miracle of Love Rosary
 The Miracle of Love Rosary CD - Kitty Cleveland and Father Robert Cavalier Our hope is that The Miracle of Love Rosary CD will lead you into a deeper state of union with out Lord as you contemplate with Mary the face of Christ. We pray that the mediations will deepen you appreciation for the gift of life, which is truly a Miracle of Love, and strengthen your commitment to defend life in all its stages.

 


 

I Believe - The Heart of Catholic Faith

First given as a Lenten retreat, this is an awesome 4 session program to revitalize your faith and prepare you for the joy of Easter. Great for individuals or families or small groups. The workbook is a treasure of discussion questions, devotions and spiritual exercises that can serve as an easy-to-follow roadmap through the Lent or Holy Week that will break you out of stale patterns and enrich both your prayer and your understanding of the central truths of the Catholic faith, empowering you to share that faith with others.

 


 

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