Category Archives: Advent

The Great O Antiphons

O Antiphons (all)The great O antiphons:

December 17 — O SAPIENTIA: O Wisdom, you came forth from the mouth of the Most High and, reaching from beginning to end, you ordered all things mightily and sweetly. Come, and teach us the way of prudence.

December 18 — O ADONAI: O Adonai and Ruler of the House of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and on Mount Sinai gave him your law. Come, and with outstretched arm redeem us.

December 19 — O RADIX JESSE: O Root of Jesse, you stand as a sign for the peoples; before you kings shall keep silence and to you all nations shall have recourse. Come, save us, and do not delay.

December 20 — O CLAVIS DAVID: O Key of David and Scepter of the House of Israel; you open and no one closes; you close and no one opens. Come, and deliver from the chains of prison those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 21 — O ORIENS: O Rising Dawn, Radiance of the Light eternal and Sun of Justice: come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 22 — O REX GENTIUM: O King of the Gentiles and the Desired of all, you are the cornerstone that binds two into one. Come, and save humanity which you fashioned out of clay.

December 23 — O EMMANUEL: O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Expected of the nations and their Savior. Come and save us, O Lord our God.

For more on the O Antiphons, see this post from last advent.

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“Tomorrow, I will come” (The Great O Antiphons)

O Antiphons (all)I just found out something cool.

First, have you ever heard of “The Great O Antiphons”? They’re the source of the verses in the hymn O Come O Come Emmanuel. Since the middle ages, they’ve been said or sung at evening prayer, one each per evening, the seven days leading up to Christmas eve. Each verse highlights a title of the Messiah and a prophecy from Isaiah: 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 Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Gentiles), and O Emmanuel (O God-with-us).

What’s cool is what you can see when you get to Christmas eve. You’ve just sung “O Emmanuel” (O “God with us”). You look back at the verses you’ve sung each day the previous week, and if you read the first letter of each verse (in Latin), you see the letters e r o c r a s formed: Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia which mean “Tomorrow, I will come.” It’s as if Jesus has just rewarded you with a personal whisper: “Tomorrow, I will come.”

That’s neat. The monks probably arranged it that way, but it’s a wonderful little extra-added sign of their faith (and an inspiration to ours). So, after seven days of praying these antiphons, we too can get to the last day, look back, see the message ero cras and rejoice that the Holy One will be here with us tomorrow.

Tomorrow, Christ will come.

O Antiphons (Rex Gentium)Here are the great O antiphons:
December 17 — O SAPIENTIA: O Wisdom, you came forth from the mouth of the Most High and, reaching from beginning to end, you ordered all things mightily and sweetly. Come, and teach us the way of prudence.

December 18 — O ADONAI: O Adonai and Ruler of the House of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and on Mount Sinai gave him your law. Come, and with outstretched arm redeem us.

December 19 — O RADIX JESSE: O Root of Jesse, you stand as a sign for the peoples; before you kings shall keep silence and to you all nations shall have recourse. Come, save us, and do not delay.

December 20 — O CLAVIS DAVID: O Key of David and Scepter of the House of Israel; you open and no one closes; you close and no one opens. Come, and deliver from the chains of prison those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 21 — O ORIENS: O Rising Dawn, Radiance of the Light eternal and Sun of Justice: come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 22 — O REX GENTIUM: O King of the Gentiles and the Desired of all, you are the cornerstone that binds two into one. Come, and save humanity which you fashioned out of clay.

December 23 — O EMMANUEL: O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Expected of the nations and their Savior. Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Holy One of many names

the call to worship from Sunday’s worship service:

Let us acknowledge the awesome mystery embodied in every person.
Through us God comes to unique and personal expression.
Let us give thanks for the abundance of life on this earth.
Through it we and all people may be nourished. (MMorwood/adapted)

We pray: Holy One of many names, whose presence we most often recognize only in retrospect, may we be blessed this day. In this season of Advent, may we become more aware of your presentness. May we see you in each other, hear you in the music, hold you, as we give and receive gifts of love. Amen

Welcome to the third week of Advent!

Clear the way in us, your people

Chi Ro Rainbowthe call to worship from last night’s worship service:

Clear the way. An Advent Litany.

God of surprises, you call us from the narrowness of our traditions to new ways of being church, from the captivities of our culture to creative witness for justice, from the smallness of our horizons to the bigness of your vision.

Clear the way in us, your people, that we might call others to freedom and renewed faith.

Jesus, wounded healer, you call us from preoccupation with our own histories and hurts to daily tasks of peacemaking, from privilege to pilgrimage, from insularity to inclusive community.

Clear the way in us, your people, that we might call others to wholeness and integrity.

Holy, transforming Spirit, you call us from fear to faithfulness, from clutter to clarity, from a desire to control to deeper trust, from the refusal to love to a readiness to risk.

Clear the way in us, your people, that we might all know the beauty and power and danger of the gospel. (Joan Puls, Gwen Cashmore/cw)

Welcome to the second week of Advent!

Christ is coming… is coming to make all things new

Chi Ro Rainbowthe call to worship from tonight’s worship service:

Among the poor, among the proud, among the persecuted, among the privileged, Christ is coming…

Is coming to make all things new.

In the private house, in the market place, in the wedding feast, in the judgment hall, Christ is coming…

Is coming to make all things new.

With a gentle touch, with an angry word, with a clear conscience, with burning love, Christ is coming…

Is coming to make all things new.

Within us, without us, among us, before us, in this place, in every place, for this time, for all time, Christ is coming…

Is coming to make all things new.

Welcome to the season of advent!