The Great "O" Antiphons

Home » News » The Great "O" Antiphons

"TOMORROW I WILL BE THERE!"

The Great "O" Antiphons of Advent December 17th to 23rd.

There are seven short verses sung before the Magnificat during Evening Prayer of the Church on the seven days before the vigil of Christmas. They each begin with the exclamation "O". Each of them ends with a plea for the Messiah to come. As Christmas approaches the cry becomes more urgent.

The antiphons were composed in the seventh or eighth century when monks put together texts from the Old Testament which looked forward to the coming of our salvation. They form a rich mosaic of scriptural images. These seven verses, or antiphons as they are called, appear to be the originals although from time to time other texts were used. They became very popular in the Middle Ages. While the monastic choirs sang the antiphons the great bells of the church were rung.

A curious feature of these antiphons is that the first letter of each invocation may be taken from the Latin to form an acrostic in reverse. So the first letters of Sapientia, Adonai, Radix, Clavis, Oriens, Rex, and Emmanuel, provide the Latin words: ERO CRAS . The phrase spells out the response of Christ himself to the heartfelt prayer of his people:

"TOMORROW I WILL BE THERE".

Why not join with the Prayer of the Church each evening and reflect on these words preparing for Christmas day by day?

You can download a prayer companion by clicking on the PDF documents on the right.

You may also be interested in

United Worship - Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance - 19 July 2021
Prayer & Worship

UPDATE: Due to the delay in the fourth step of the Governments 'Roadmap' our United Service to mark the lifting of restrictions has been rescheduled for Monday 19 July at 7.30 pm.You are warmly invited to join us either 'in person' or 'via Zoom' for our United Worship.A Service Of Thanksgiving, Remembrance, And Call to FaithFor the Year that we have been...

Commissioning Service  - Joan Smth
Prayer & Worship

You are warmly invited to join us either 'in person' or 'via Zoom' for our United Worship to celebrateThe Commissioning of Mrs Joan Smith As An Assembly Accredited Lay PreacherOf The United Reformed ChurchSunday 25th July 2021 at 4.00 pmSt Andrew's Methodist Church,The Stow, Harlow, CM20 3AFIf you would like the Zoom details please email: hae...

Induction of Revd Ernest Bosse - Sept 2021
Prayer & Worship

You are warmly invited to join on Saturday 18 September 2021 at 2.30pm at Leaside Church, Ware for the Induction of Revd Ernest Bosse as an Area Minister with pastoral charge of Leaside Local Ecumenical Partnership, Ware, and Roydon United Reformed Church. The Service will be conducted by the Moderator of the Eastern Synod, Revd Lythan Nevard.All are...

© 2012 - 2021 Herts and Essex Border Ecumenical Area

Methodist, United Reformed Church and Anglican Churches in Partnership