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Church Tradition

O Antiphons

Psalterium cum Antiphonis [Folio 1, recto]
photocredit: flickr/boston_public_library
In Catholic tradition, today begins the “O Antiphons”. From December 17th through December 23rd, the antiphon for the Magnificat are one of seven of the so-called O Antiphons. The Magnificat is a canticle of Mary from the 1st chapter of Luke that is prayed during every evening prayer (vespers) of Liturgy of the Hours.

I’ll post the antiphon for the day at 5:00 p.m., so you can pray along with the Church throughout the world. You’ve heard of most of these before as they form the basis of the seven verses of O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

The origin of the antiphons isn’t clear. There is a reference about them from around 500 A.D., with it believed they have been part of the church’s life since the earliest days. According to Fr. William Saunders, they are important as they serve two functions. First, they each highlight a title for the Messiah and second, they refer to the prophesy of Isaiah concerning the coming of the Messiah. He has listed all seven and the corresponding prophesy.

In some ordos, this begins “Late Advent”. Christmas is sneaking up on us quickly at La Casa de Kraft. May we slow down and prepare ourselves to celebrating the coming of Christ.

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

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