O Antiphons of Advent

red O antiphonctave before Christmas During the final week of Advent (December 17–23), seven short verses are recited during the evening prayer. Each begins with the exclamation “O” and ends by invoking the expected Messiah. On the eighth day (Christmas Eve), the prayer is part of the Christmas Vigil. The O antiphons are the inspiration for the hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”

We encourage you to recite the O Antiphons at home to prepare for Christmas. Our prayer pamphlet has the complete verses and their Latin roots with English translations and meanings. 

The “O” Antiphons (pdf)

December 17

O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!

December 18

O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!

December 19

O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!

December 20

O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!

December 21

O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.

December 22

O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!

December 23

O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!