Saturday, December 17, 2016

O Antiphons of Advent Vespers

File:Retable de l'Agneau mystique (3).jpg
The Blessed Virgin Mary, from the Ghent altarpiece, 1432AD.


Today, 17 December, and the Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent, we begin the final days of the Advent season leading to Christmas, and, happily, we begin the days of the great "O" antiphons of Vespers.  These antiphons, which would be chanted before and after the Magnificat at Vespers each day, are the inspiration for the wonderful Advent hymn, Veni, Veni Emmanuel; O Come, O Come Emmanuel.  Each antiphon presents an invocation of Christ under a different title.  Taking the first letter of the title of each day starting on 23 December and proceeding to the 17th, these antiphons, in Latin, spell: ERO CRAS.  Tomorrow, I come.  This site gives an excellent overview: Fisheaters: O Antiphons

I present here the antiphons in their order for your edification and consideration over these next few days, followed by a link to the text of Advent Vespers from the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

17 DECEMBER
Today's antiphon, inspired by Ecclesiastes 24:5 and Wisdom 8:1, is:



O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae




O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other mightily,
and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence


Here is a link to an excellent reflection on the antiphon for today: WDTPRS: 17 December Antiphon

Chanted, it sounds thus:





18 DECEMBER
The 18 December antiphon, inspired by Exodus 3:2, and 20:1, is:




O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel,
qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.




O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.


Here is a link to an excellent reflection on the antiphon for today: WDTPRS: 18 December Antiphon

Here is a video of that in Gregorian chant:




19 DECEMBER
On 19 December antiphon, inspired by Isaiah 11:10, is:




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 Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.


Here is a link to an excellent reflection on the antiphon for today: WDTPRS: 19 December Antiphon

The chant is here:




20 DECEMBER
The 20 December antiphon, inspired by Isaiah 22:22, Revelation 3:7, and Luke 1:79, is:




O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel;
qui aperis, et nemo claudit;
          claudis, et nemo aperit:



veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.





O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.


Here is a link to an excellent reflection on the antiphon for today: WDTPRS: 20 December Antiphon

This video presents the Gregorian chant setting:




21 DECEMBER
The 21 December antiphon is, inspired by Psalm 106:10:




O Oriens,
splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.




O Morning Star,
splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.


Here is a link to an excellent reflection on the antiphon for today: WDTPRS: 20 December Antiphon

Here is a video of the chant:




22 DECEMBER
The 22 December antiphon, inspired by Haggai 2:3 and Ephesians 2:14 & 20, is:




O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.





O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.


Here is a link to an excellent reflection on the antiphon for today: WDTPRS: 22 December Antiphon

The Gregorian chant can be heard here:




23 DECEMBER
The 23 December, and most famous, antiphon, inspired by Isaiah 7:14 and 33:22, is:




O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster




O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,
the hope of the nations and their Saviour:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.


Here is a link to an excellent reflection on the antiphon for today: WDTPRS: 23 December Antiphon

Here is the Gregorian chant of the antiphon:




VESPERS!
This link will take you to the text of the next of the liturgical hours of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Vespers, the Evening hour, for the Advent Season: Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Advent Vespers

The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary is thought to date to St. John Damascene (+749), and has been used by such individuals as King St. Louis IX of France, St. Antoninus of Florence, St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Frances of Rome, and Queen Mary Stuart of Scotland. It is a wonderful devotion, about which you can read more here: Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Little Office of Our Lady

Live well!

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