Praying with the“O Antiphons”This Week

From December 17th through December 23rd, the Church sings the “O Antiphons.” These beautiful verses are helpful in preparing us for the coming of Christ at Christmas and are a magnificent theology. Using biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament, the O Antiphons proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but of our present desires as well. Their repeated use of the desperate cry of “Come!” embodies the perennial longing for Our Savior. As these antiphons are sung in preparation for Christmas, the imagery calls to mind Old Testament passages that speak of the coming of the Savior. The rich Biblical elements not only serve to anticipate our forthcoming Savior, but also reveal characteristics of the New Testament Christ. Each antiphon reveals to us the power and goodness of the One who is to come. In fact, if you take the first letter of each Latin title, beginning with the last (Emmanuel) and working backward to the first (Sapientia), it spells ERO CRAS, which means “Tomorrow I will come” in Latin! Even in the depths of Advent, buried amongst our longing and anticipation, we are gifted with the certainty of Christ’s coming.

At 6:30pm each evening this week, we will send out a text/app message with the O Antiphon of the day. As you pray and reflect upon the daily antiphon, may the beauty of the Biblical imagery draw you deeper into the mystery of the Incarnation and the coming celebration of Christmas! If you have not signed up for parish text messages, visit or learn more here.

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