Have you heard of the ‘O Antiphons’?
They begin 17 December and finish 23 December each year. They accompany Mary’s Magnificat:
As the great feast of Christmas approaches, its light begins to blot out the lights of the individual days, as planets are blotted out when they appear too close to the Sun.
The ‘O Antiphons’ count down the last seven days before Christmas and tie together seven threads of hope, longing and doctrine which find their culmination in Jesus (Universalis).
Find each of the ‘O Antiphons’ herein.
For personal or family prayer, or both, begin with the antiphon for each day, pray the Magnificat, and then repeat the antiphon again.
Simple, evocative and beautiful way to prepare for Christmas:
My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.
He looks on his servant in her lowliness;
henceforth all ages will call me blessed.
The Almighty works marvels for me.
Holy his name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear him.
He puts forth his arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, his servant,
remembering his mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons for ever.
Glory be …
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 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 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 key of David and sceptre of Israel, what you open no one else can close again. What you close, no one can open. O come and lead the captive from prison. Free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
O Rising Sun, you are the splendour of eternal light and the sun of justice. O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
O King, whom all the peoples desire, you are the cornerstone which makes all one. O come and save man, whom you made from clary.
O Immanuel, you are the king and our judge, the One who the peoples await and their Saviour. O come and save us, Lord our God.