ctave 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)
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!
O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
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.
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!