O Antiphons: O Key of David…O Radiant Dawn

source: Hymns and Carols of Christmas gives us this information about the O Antiphons:

“This is one of the oldest of Christian prayers — referred to as the “O” Antiphons, the “Greater” Antiphons, and “The Seven O’s.”

These seven antiphons were recited as a part of the evening Vespers prayers of the Catholic Church before and after The Magnificat in the Octave before Christmas, December 17 to 23 (the Vespers for Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, are those for the Christmas Vigil). Prior to the Reformation, it was sung from 16 to 23 December, omitting St. Thomas’ Day (December 21). These seven days are also known as the Greater Ferias.

Each of the seven stanzas addressed the Messiah by one of his titles, each one praising the coming of the Savior by a different name, and closing with petitions appropriate to the title. Thus:

Address:
     O EMMANUEL, God with us,
Praise:
     Our King and Lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Saviour:
Closing Petition:

     COME to save us, O Lord our God. Amen.

One verse was sung or chanted each evening (as opposed to being sung together as a single hymn, as we do today).

According to one source, on December 17th the Abbot would intone the first Antiphon, O Sapientia. On successive nights, each principal officer of the monastery would take his turn with another of the Antiphons. A After the service, the officer was expected to provide some sort of treat, usually edible, for all the monks.

The antiphons date back at least to the reign of Charlemagne (771-814), and the 439 lines of the English poem Christ,by Cynewulf (c. 800), are described as a loose translation and elaboration of the Antiphons. B One source stated that Boethius (c. 480-524) made a slight reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time. C Julian reports that two 11th century copies can be found in manuscripts in the British Museum and the Bodleian. The usage of the “O Antiphons” was so prevalent in monasteries that the phrases, “Keep your O” and “The Great O Antiphons” were common parlance.”

https://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/Notes_On_Carols/O_Antiphons/o_antiphons.htm

Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The religious imagineer

Where the fire and the rose are one

Gaudium et Spes 22

by Dr. Larry Chapp

Tikorangi The Jury Garden

Mark and Abbie Jury

I Love To Go A Gardening

Growing Our Life in Northern Michigan

Wonders in the Dark

Cinema, music, opera, books, television, theater

Mason Street

The literary magazine of Newark Public Library

Morse, Lewis and Endeavour

Welcome to the Morse Universe

Shades of My Garden

a window into a life, a conversation with a soul, a gateway to a heart

Slouching Towards Senescence

Aging woman reads, steeps tea, feeds cats and is ridiculous.....

Gather Victoria

ANCESTRAL FOOD. HERBAL WISDOM. MAGICAL COOKERY. SEASONAL CELEBRATION.

Kate Macdonald

about writing, reading and publishing

The Lore of the Garden

Myths, legends, folklore, fairytales about flora, fauna and sacred landscapes

OPreach

Dominican Preaching through Word and Image

My little corner of the world.

Faith, love, and listening to the language of the world.

chestercountyramblings

meandering through, writing about whatever strikes my fancy

maegregale.wordpress.com/

“But I ask myself, What must I do to make my life a true story?”

Jeffrey Levine

poetry, publishing, and mentoring

Creative Spiritual Directions

... reflections to inspire creative spiritual directions ... ... . . . .

%d bloggers like this: