Monday, December 18, 2017

The O Antiphons

Follower of teh Coetivy Master, Initial O
From a Book of Hours
French (Loire Region), c. 1470-1480
New York, Pierpont Morgan Library
MS G1.II, fol. .232v

In the week before Christmas, the Liturgy of the Hours (the official daily prayer of the Church) includes a series of special antiphons preceding the recitation of the Magnificat (Luke 1: 46-55), collectively called the O Antiphons.  In the English-speaking world we are most familiar with them as they are paraphrased in the well-known Advent hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel", which is a free translation of the medieval Latin text.

The O Antiphons refer to Christ under eight different titles that connect the events of the Old Testament that forecast different aspects of Jesus and the salvation He came to give.

To see the images these titles reflect, click on the title of the antiphon below:

December 20 -- O Flower of Jesse's Stem!

Here is a video of Ely Cathedral Women's Choir singing the traditional English version of "Veni, Veni, Emmanuel".

© M. Duffy, 2017

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