Fidelity to the Word
Our Lord and His Holy Apostles at the Last Supper


A blog dedicated to Christ Jesus our Lord and His True Presence in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist


From whence can any one fill them with bread here in the wilderness ?

Mark 8:4

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Great Antiphons

Heralds of Christmas
(recommended by Singulare Ingenium)

In the first millenium, possibly as early as in the reign of Pope St. Gregory the Great, one of these antiphons would be sung each evening during vespers in the days leading up to Christmas Eve:

O Sapientia

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

O eternal Wisdom which proceedest from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from one end of creation unto the other, mightily and harmoniously disposing all things, come Thou to teach us the way of understanding.


O Adonai

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 Lord and Ruler of the House of Israel, who appearedst unto Moses in the flame of a burning bush and gavest to him the law in Sinai: come to redeem us with a stretched-out arm.


O Radix Jesse

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur; veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardere.

O Root of Jesse, who art placed for a sign of the people, before whom kings shall shut their mouths, whom the Gentiles shall supplicate: come Thou to deliver us; do not tarry.


O Clavis David

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, who openest and none shutteth, who shuttest and none openeth: come Thou and bring forth the captive from the house of bondage who sitteth in darkness and in the shadow of death.


O Oriens

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

O Rising brightness of the everlasting light and sun of righteousness: come Thou and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.


O Rex Gentium

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

O King and desire of all nations, and chief Corner-stone, who makest two to be one: come Thou and save man whom Thou formedst from the clay.


O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, Rex et legisfer noster, expectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos, Domine Deus noster.

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Savior, come Thou to save us O Lord our God.


(This webpage points out that read backwards, the first letter of the first word for each day spells out 'ero cras', i.e. 'I shall be [with you] tomorrow', a pleasing bit of medieval cleverness).

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