Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Great O Antiphons’

O Clavis David:

O Key of David and scepter of the house of Israel, You open and no one can close. You close and no one can open:  Come and rescue the prisoners whoa re in darkness and the shadow of death.

Isaiah had prophesied, I will place the Key of the House of David on His shoulder; when he opens, no one will shut, when he shuts, no one will open.” (22:22), and “His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David’s throne, and over His kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever.”(9:6). In the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse), the Key is the Lord’s Resurrection: 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me,saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.  The most significant and even dramatic time of the mention of keys, the Key of David is after Peter, by apocalypse of the Father, confesses Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 16:18-20

Reflection: His Nativity is the key-note address of the Gospels and our lives together in His.  It sets the  theme of the fulfillment of the promises of the Scriptures.  As in:  shepherds are told of the birth of the Lord, the Good Shepherd, son of David the Shepherd King.   As in:  magi, Gentiles come to worship Him so that the Word goes forth from Zion.  As in:  the gift of myrrh, a spice used for burial.  As in:  the old Zechariah praising God and saying He will give us knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of our sins. As in: the government will be upon His shoulder and the slaughter of the Holy Innocents.  He is the Key of our forgiveness and eternal life for us and our salvation and the salvation of all. He has the key to your heart.

Oh, come, O Key of David, come, 
And open wide our heav’nly home; 
Make safe the way that leads on high, 
And close the path to misery. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Read Full Post »

O Dayspring, splendor light everlasting:  Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Oh, come, our Dayspring from on high, 
And cheer us by your drawing nigh, 
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, 
And death’s dark shadows put to flight. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Light is one of the great themes of the Bible and of the coming of the Messiah.  The glory of the Lord shone about the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night. The dayspring would arise as prophesied by Malachi: Malachi 1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2But for you who fear my name,the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts.

Then the well known verses:
Isaiah 9:  2 The people who walked in darkness   have seen a great light;those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,   on them has light shined.

Light is sign and symbol of seeing with heart, soul and mind by faith through God’s Word.  Etymologically, it is important that the word translated as “dayspring” in Latin is “oriens” which can also be rendered, “east”.  The obvious is the sun rises in the east.  Note: from “oriens” we have our word “orient” and “orientation”.  We humans can only be oriented correctly by light.  Light does not shine from us but on us that we not lose our way, physically, intellectually or spiritually.  His Word is Lamp unto our feet (Psalm 119).  The Temple in Jerusalem faced the east.  Traditionally, Christian church buildings faced the east and Christians are buried facing the east.  In the Church, in times past, the west was considered the haunt of the demonic but the east is from whence comes our Savior and so we face His way and are oriented.  We lose our way so easily.  We seek direction from people who say they know the way but do not have the good guide,  the Bible.  The Lord caught the attention of Persian astrologers, the magi and led them by a star.  But it was finally the Bible, the Word of God, that led them to Bethlehem.  Don’t trust your senses to find God, He will find you by His Word. His Word is more trustworthy than even your thoughts and feelings.  His Word will orient you to your heavenly home.

St. John 1:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Read Full Post »

O Clavis David:

O Key of David and scepter of the house of Israel, You open and no one can close. You close and no one can open:  Come and rescue the prisoners whoa re in darkness and the shadow of death.

Isaiah had prophesied, I will place the Key of the House of David on His shoulder; when he opens, no one will shut, when he shuts, no one will open.” (22:22), and “His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David’s throne, and over His kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever.” (9:6). In the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse), the Key is the Lord’s Resurrection: 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me,saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.  The most significant and even dramatic time of the mention of keys, the Key of David is after Peter, by apocalypse of the Father, confesses Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 16:18-20

Reflection: His Nativity is the key-note address of the Gospels and our lives together in His.  It sets the  theme of the fulfillment of the promises of the Scriptures.  As in:  shepherds are told of the birth of the Lord, the Good Shepherd, son of David the Shepherd King.   As in:  magi, Gentiles come to worship Him so that the Word goes forth from Zion.  As in:  the gift of myrrh, a spice used for burial.  As in:  the old Zechariah praising God and saying He will give us knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of our sins. As in: the government will be upon His shoulder and the slaughter of the Holy Innocents.  He is the Key of our forgiveness and eternal life for us and our salvation and the salvation of all. He has the key to your heart.

Oh, come, O Key of David, come, 
And open wide our heav’nly home; 
Make safe the way that leads on high, 
And close the path to misery. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Read Full Post »

The Jesse Tree

O Radix Jesse:

“O Root of Jesse, standing as an ensign before the peoples, before whom all kings are mute, to whom the nations will do homage: Come quickly to deliver us.”

Oh, come, Thou Branch of Jesse’s tree,
Free them from Satan’s tyranny,
That trust your mighty pow’r to save;
Bring them in vict’ry through the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Isaiah had prophesied, “But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.” (11:1), and A On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.” (11:10). Remember also that Jesse was the father of King David, and Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of the house and lineage of David and be born in David’s city, Bethlehem (Micah 5:1).

Reflection:  Our word “radical” is from the Latin “radix”, “root”, as in the Root of Jesse.  C. S. Lewis pointed out that forgiving sin is like a long addition equation and when the sum is wrong, you have to go back to where it went wrong. This is what Christ Mass is about:  the Lord going back to where it went wrong.  He became flesh, in the appearance  of the Old Adam, to fix the humanly unfixable problem, sin,  in the tender mercies of our God.  We have knowledge of salvation in the forgiveness of our sins (Luke 1: 77)The Incarnation was radical and  still is and so He is Emmanuel.  First, He is God against us, His alien work of judgment of sinners.  Then He is God for us and our salvation and by faith Emmanuel, God with us.

This O Antiphon reminds us also of the Lord’s genealogy and it’s importance in the Gospels:  St. Matthew 1: 1-7 and St. Luke 3: 23-28.  Here is an excellent article on St. Matthew’s Genealogy at Brothers of John the Steadfast.

Read Full Post »

O Adonai:

“O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.”

Oh, come, oh, come, our Lord of might, 
Who to Your tribes on Sinai’s height 
In ancient times gave holy law, 
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Isaiah had prophesied, “But He shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.” (11:4-5); and “Indeed the Lord will be there with us, majestic; yes the Lord our judge, the Lord our lawgiver, the Lord our king, he it is who will save us.” (33:22).

Reflection by Rev. Professor Johann Gerhard, Postilla: An Explanation of the Sunday and Most Important Festival Gospels of the Whole Year, Volume 1, Sermons for the Church Year from Advent through Pentecost(1613):

We read in Exo. 3:2-3, as Moses was being sent to rescue the Israelite nation from her slavery, that the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a fiery flame from a bush, and Moses saw that the bush burned with fire and yet was not consumed.

This Angel of the Lord was the Son of God, inasmuch as He immediately is called the Lord, and Paul testifies concerning Him in 1 Cor. 10:4 that He was the leader of the Israelite nation. Thus the very same Son of God appeared to Moses through the external sign of a fiery flame which burned in a thorn bush and yet did not damage it. By this He wanted to indicate that in the fullness of time He was to rescue mankind from spiritual slavery by taking to Himself a human nature, fill it with the light of His divine nature and with the fullness of the Godhead, which nevertheless would not be hurt by such a heavenly fire.

For this fire, which enlightens and inspires, is a sign of the divine nature, just as Deu. 4:24 states: For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, etc. And in 1 Tim. 6:16: The One who lives in a light which no one is able to approach, etc. The bush, which grows from the earth, is a symbol of the human nature, with which God’s Son personally united Himself, through it appears and shines the fire of the divine nature, and as Paul says in Col. 2:9:  for in Him lives the entire fullness of the Godhead bodily (in the flesh);  at the same time, the human nature, the human nature is not hurt by the divine nature.  The human nature of Christ, with all its attributes, remains undisturbed even though all the fullness of the divine nature shines through, and is relfected bythe human nature…Accordingly, just as Moses when he saw the bush was not damaged while it burned with fire, said: I’m going over to his tremendous scene and see why this bush is not burning up, so also we should early desire to observe this tremendous miracle of Christ simultaneously being God and Man, and of Mary simultaneously being mother and virgin.

Read Full Post »

The “O Antiphons” refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, Dec. 17-23, with Dec. 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil. An octave is literal 8 days.  From the earliest time of the Church 8 is considered significant: 7 days of the creation, then on the 1st Day of the Week, the 8th day, the new creation:  Christ is risen!

The exact origin of the “O Antiphons” is not known. Boethius (c. 480-524) made a slight reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time. At the Benedictine abbey of Fleury (now Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire), these antiphons were recited by the abbot and other abbey leaders in descending rank, and then a gift was given to each member of the community. By the eighth century, they are in use in the liturgical celebrations in Rome. The usage of the “O Antiphons” was so prevalent in monasteries that the phrases, “Keep your O” and “The Great O Antiphons” were common parlance. One may thereby conclude that in some fashion the “O Antiphons” have been part of our liturgical tradition since the very early Church.

The importance of “O Antiphons” is twofold: Each one 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)

 O Emmanuel.

According to Professor Robert Greenberg of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one – Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai,Sapientia – the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” Therefore, the Lord Jesus, whose coming we have prepared for in Advent and whom we have addressed in these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to us, “Tomorrow, I will come.” So the “O Antiphons” not only bring intensity to our Advent preparation, but bring it to a joyful conclusion.  

Notably, the Great O Antiphons are the basis of the great Advent Hymn: O, Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

(The information above is cited from an article in Cyberbrethren)

December 17th:

O Sapientia:

“O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.

Isaiah had prophesied, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” (11:2-3), and “Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom.” (28:29).  St. Paul points out that, “… the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 1: 25.  Jesus is the Wisdom of God.  He was weak to show forth the power of our salvation in every Word and Work He did and finally and fully in the weakness of the manger and Cross bearing our sin.    In Proverbs 8 and 9, Wisdom is personified as a woman:  

Wisdom has built her house;
   she has hewn her seven pillars.
2She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine;
   she has also set her table.
3She has sent out her young women to call
   from the highest places in the town,
4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
    To him who lacks sense she says,
5“Come, eat of my bread
   and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6Leave your simple ways, and live,
    and walk in the way of insight.”

She invites the simple to her table.  The Lord invites the simple to His Table to walk in His Way, the way of insight and live.

 

 Oh, come, Oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Oh, come, our Wisdom from on high, 
Who ordered all things mightily; 
To us the path of knowledge show, 
and teach us in her ways to go. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: