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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas is Nigh: We're Singing the O Antiphons!

Nothing announces the nearness of the Messiah like the O Antiphons. Part of the Church's Liturgy of the Hours for hundreds of years, these beautiful psalms announce the imminence of our salvation from sin and death. Today, December 17, we sing, "O Wisdom." And what is the beginning of wisdom? Fear of the Lord, not in the sense of quivering terror, but recognizing the awe inspiring "fear" of God whose very name causes us to fall on our knees.

 "Who is Like Unto God?" Michael the archangel shouts as he thrusts Satan and his minions out of heaven into the everlasting fires. This first antiphon reminds me of the increasing light overcoming the darkness of sin and death.

Note some of the antiphons in the version of O Come Emmanuel below. Here are the seven O Antiphons.

  • O Come, O Wisdom
  • O Come, O Lord
  • O Come, O Root of Jesse
  • O Come, O Key of David
  • O Come, O Rising Dawn
  • O Come, O King of Gentiles
  • O Come, O Emmanuel

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