O

O 1

Today, 17th December marks a shift in our season of Advent. No longer do we look towards Christ’s coming at the end of time, but at his coming in the flesh – his birth at Bethlehem.

For those who pray Vespers – the night prayers of the Church – the antiphon mentions many of the titles of Christ, the so-called “O” antiphons. Each antiphon, from now until Christmas Eve, starts with a title of Christ.

They are: O wisdom, O Adonai, O stock of Jesse, O key of David, O rising star, O king of nations and O Immanuel.

Interestingly, if we take the first letter of these titles, when written in Latin, they form a countdown…the letters spelt out backwards from Christmas eve spell out the words “ero cras” which means “I will exist/come tomorrow.”

The Latin tiles are O Sapientia, O Adonai, O Radix Jesse, O Clavis David, O Oriens, O Rex gentium and O Emmanuel.

The full antiphons are given here.

O 2

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