SMLJ Home Page Header Banner. click for home.
 

"O" Antiphons

 

Topics

Overview

Calendar for praying the
"O" Antiphons

How to pray the "O" Antiphons in your home

Download / view the
"O" Antiphons handout

Reference sources on the "O" Antiphons

 
chapel
 

Overview

 

The “O Antiphons” refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) on each day of the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas.  This period runs from December 17 through December 23.

The exact origin of the “O Antiphons” is not known but written references about the antiphons in the late fifth and early sixth centuries suggest their presence at that time. By the eighth century, they were in use in the liturgical celebrations in Rome. The usage of the “O Antiphons” was so prevalent in monasteries that the phrases, “Keep your O” and “The Great O Antiphons” were common parlance.

The importance of “O Antiphons” is twofold:

  1. Each one highlights a title for the Messiah
  2. Each one refers to a prophecy of Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah

The symbols for the seven "O" Antiphons are shown at the left.  For information on the prayer for each antiphon and the related scripture from Isaiah look at the "O" Antiphons handout. Further information can be found online at the references below.

 

^TOP

 

Calendar for praying the "O" Antiphons

 

  • December 17 - O Wisdom
  • December 18 - O Adonai ( O Sacred Lord of Ancient Israel )
  • December 19 - O Flower of Jesse's Stem
  • December 20 - O Key of David
  • December 21 - O Radiant Dawn
  • December 22 - O King
  • December 23 - O Emmanuel

 

^TOP

 

How to pray the "O" Antiphons in your home

 

  1. Refer to the calendar for praying the "O" Antiphons (above)
  2. Provide a copy of the "O" Antiphons handout for each person to say the prayers together with the prayer leader.
  3. On each day of the octave before Christmas:
    • Announce the "O" Antiphon for the day
    • Read the prophecy from Isaiah for the antiphon
    • All present pray the prayer for the antiphon
  4. Repeat step 3 for each day of the octave before Christmas

 

^TOP

 

Reference sources on the "O" Antiphons

 

Wikipedia    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Antiphons

Catholic Online    http://www.catholic.org/clife/advent/advent.php?id=7

Catholic Education Resource Center   http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/what-are-the.html

Catholic Culture    http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/what-are-the.html

 

^TOP