Sunday, December 17, 2006

The 'O Antiphons': O Sapientia

I was praying Vespers on Sunday and it suddenly occurred to me at the Magnificat Antiphon that its Dec 17th and we're in the 'O Antiphon' season of the Octave of Christmas

The 'O Antiphons' refer to the seven antiphons that are chanted preceding the Magnificat during Evening Prayer or Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours during the Octave before Christmas, Dec. 17-23.

Each of the 'O Antiphons' highlights a Messianic title: 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.

These titles come from the Prophet Isaiah who is one of the most prolific of the OT prophets. The Book of Isaiah contains many of the most explicit and details prophecies of the coming Messiah.

Here's what is hopefully the first of 7 posts on the 'O Antiphons' starting with today's antiphon, 'O Sapientia'

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodidisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviter disponensque omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come, and teach us the way of prudence.

The Pontifical North American College's version can be found here.

They also sing one of my favourite renditions of the hymn O Come, O Come Emmanuel which is a paraphrase if the 'O Antiphons'

Today's verse is:

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.

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