Sunday, December 17, 2006


Beginning today, the Daily Office includes distinct prayers for each day leading up to Christmas. These are called the "O" Antiphons, because they all begin with the exclamation "Oh!"

The exclamation is followed by a title of addess for Christ and then a description of Him. The antiphon concludes with a request that he come. By the way, the language of these antiphons forms the basis for that most famous of Advent hymns, "Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel."

Several years ago at St John's Abbey I was part of an Advent Day of Recollection wherein we examined the various "Oh!" antiphons and then composed our own antiphons. It was an interesting and revealing exercise. You might try it.

Here is today's "Oh!" antiphon:

O Wisdom,
you came forth from the mouth of the Most High,
and reaching from the beginning to end,
you ordered all things mightily and sweetly.
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

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