The O Antiphons are seven prayers that are usually said in the last seven days of Advent. In the Catholic tradition, there is an evening prayer time that always involves the great prayer of Mary called the Magnificat. Each day, an antiphon (short verse) is recited before the Magnificat. They are pleas for the Messiah to come, and become increasingly urgent. They were put together with Old Testament Scripture, particularly from Isaiah, which prophesy the coming of our salvation.
Each of the O Antiphons highlights a title for the Messiah: 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 Nations), and O Emmanuel.
The Benedictine monks had arranged these antiphons in their particular order for a reason: If you go backwards, starting with the last title, and take the first letter of each title - Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia – you end up with the latin words ero cras, which means “Tomorrow, I will come”. This is what the Lord Jesus says to us in the season of Advent: Tomorrow, I will come. Amen!
O Sapientia (Is. 11:2-3; 28:29): "O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High. You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner. O come to teach us the way of truth."
O Adonai (Is. 11:4-5; 33:22): "O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave him the Law on Sinai. O come and save us with your mighty power."
O Radix Jesse (Is. 11:1, 10): "O stock of Jesse, you stand as a signal for the nations; kings fall silent before you whom the peoples acclaim. O come to deliver us, and do not delay."
O Clavis David (Is. 9:6; 22:22): "O key of David and scepter of Israel, what you open no one else can close again; what you close no one can open. O come to lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death."
O Oriens (Is. 9:1): "O Rising Sun, you are the splendor of eternal light and the sun of justice. O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death."
O Rex Gentium (Is. 2:4; 9:5): "O King whom all the peoples desire, you are the cornerstone which makes all one. O come and save man whom you made from clay."
O Emmanuel (Is. 7:14) : "O Emmanuel, you are our king and judge, the One whom the peoples await and their Savior. O come and save us, Lord, our God."
(Prayers taken from Crossroads Initiative https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/801/O_Antiphons_of_Advent.html)
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