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Antiphon of Dec 17: O Sapientia

Related threads:
O Antiphons: summary (30)
(origins) Origins: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (26)
Antiphon of Dec 19: O radix Jesse (11)
Antiphon of Dec 20: O Clavis David (3)
Antiphon of Dec 21: O Oriens (12)
Lyr Req: Latin for O Come O Come Emmanuel (20)
Antiphon of Dec 18: O Adonai (2)
Antiphon of Dec 23: O Emmanuel (3)
Antiphon of Dec 22: O Rex gentium (5)

Haruo 18 Dec 00 - 01:18 AM
GUEST 18 Dec 00 - 09:40 AM
Mrrzy 18 Dec 00 - 09:46 AM
MMario 18 Dec 00 - 09:56 AM
Haruo 19 Dec 00 - 08:18 PM
GUEST,leeneia 19 Dec 00 - 10:49 PM
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Subject: O Antiphons - basis of O Come, O Come Emmanuel
From: Haruo
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 01:18 AM

It's the evening of December 17. It's time for the O Antiphons. These are the seven antiphons that in Catholic traditional usage are chanted preceding the Magnificat during Vespers on the seven days preceding Christmas Eve. These each address the Messiah in a different title drawn from the Old Testament, calling upon him to come to Israel:
O Sapientia — O Wisdom
O Adonai — O Lord
O Radix Jesse — O Root of Jesse
O Clavis David — O Key of David
O Oriens — O Dawn
O Rex Gentium — O King of the Nations
O Emmanuel — O God-with-us
Each of these is the basis for a verse of O Come, O Come Emmanuel (though as usually given in English there are only five verses), but Emmanuel, the first verse of the hymn, is the last of the antiphons, making the hymn most appropriate to sing on Christmas Eve before nightfall, or on the preceding evening after Vespers, as then one can look back on the whole series of antiphons and, looking only at their initials, see that in retrospect they spell ERO CRAS, which in Latin means "I'll be there tomorrow", the promise of Advent's close.

A good source for the full texts of the antiphons and further information on their history and use is the Kir-Shalom O Antiphons page.


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Subject: Antiphon of Dec 17: O Sapientia
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 09:40 AM

O Sapientia,
quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter,
suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.
O Wisdom,
who proceeds from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching out mightily from end to end,
and sweetly arranging all things:
come to teach us the way of prudence.

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Subject: RE: O Antiphons
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 09:46 AM

This reminds me of a question I've had floating around my brain for years now - O Come O Come Emmanuel has always seemed to be about WAITING for the Messiah, not having the Messiah already on Earth... so isn't in rather more of a Jewish song than a Christian one? I mean no disrespect to either faith, I ask from ignorance; I thought that a major difference was whether you thought that the Messiah had come (Christian) or was yet to come (Jew), so why is a song about wanting Him to come considered a Christmas carol? Really only curious!

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Subject: RE: O Antiphons
From: MMario
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 09:56 AM

It's an Advent Carol - with Advent being the season of the Church year during which the birth of Christ is anticipated culminating in the arrival on Christmas Day. the liturgical year begins with Advent and re-enacts each year the cycle of birth, preaching, sacrifice, resurrection, and the spread of the gospel.

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Subject: RE: O Antiphons
From: Haruo
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 08:18 PM

To take a Jewish example, at the Seder (Passover meal) each year a child asks an elder "Why is this night special? What's so special about it, huh?" (I paraphrase.) And the elder replies, "This is the night the Lord brought us out of slavery in Egypt." Now this doesn't mean that the Jews are brought out of slavery each year, but that one of the functions of a liturgical calendar (in Jewish terms other examples would be Purim, and Hanukkah, and the 9th of Av, and... actually most of the holidays, including Pentecost, which has a different historical focus for Christians, just as has Passover itself) for a historically based faith is to recount the history. And in a sense (with some radically different interpretations, sometimes) all Jewish history up to the time of Jesus is Christian history.


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Subject: RE: O Antiphons
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 10:49 PM

Thanks for posting this. I have seen references to the O Antiphons and have often wondered what they were.

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