As we enter this grand celebration let us remember why we celebrate by reflecting on the O Antiphons (verses) this week. The Roman Church has been singing the "O" Antiphons since at least the eighth century. They are the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23.
They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the mes- sianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but our own hopes and prayers as well. Their repeated use of the imperative "Come!" embodies the longing we all have for the Divine Messiah. I encourage you to pray these verses each day until Christmas:
December 17 O Sapientia (Wisdom) O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge!
December 18 O Adonai (Lord)
O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!
December 19 O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse) O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!
December 20 O Clavis David (O Key of David) O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness!
December 21 O Oriens ( O Radiant Dawn)
O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.
December 22 O Rex Gentium (O King of all nations) O King of all nations and keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
December 23 O Emmanuel
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God!
For all these days leading up to Christmas our cries to the Lord to come take on a sense of urgency, “Please Lord, come down to save us.” If we take the initial of each title in order we get the acronym S A R C O R E. If we reverse those initials we get the Lord’s response to our prayers. “ ERO CRAS” which is latin for “Tomorrow I will come!”
May the Lord’s coming in the flesh, which we will celebrate on Christmas, be the answer to your heartfelt prayers and may the peace of the newborn King reign in your heart and home.
God bless you all!
Father Robert Letona