What Are The “O” Antiphons of the Advent Season?

Lone Purple Advent CandleToday is December 17th, which means for Catholics and many other Christians in the West, it is time for the “O Antiphons” of the Advent season to begin.

The “O Antiphons” are antiphons, short prayers, Scripture excerpts, etc, used before a psalm or canticle in the Liturgy of the Hours (a system of daily prayer used by Catholic priests and others).

The “O Antiphons” are used before the Magnificat (the song of Mary from Luke 1:46-55) at Vespers (Evening Prayer) during the last seven days of Advent in the Catholic Church.

They are called the “O Antiphons” because the title of each begins with the address “O”.

Each antiphon is a title of Christ, derived from attributes in Scripture.

They are:

December 17: O Sapientia (Wisdom)
December 18: O Adonai (Lord)
December 19: O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse)
December 20: O Clavis David (Key of David)
December 21: O Oriens (Dayspring)
December 22: O Rex Gentium (King of the nations)
December 23: O Emmanuel (With Us is God)

In the Catholic Church, they are used during Evening Prayer from December 17 to December 23 inclusive.

If you are interested in these Antiphons, we have them all listed on our Advent Prayers page.

About David Bennett

David Bennett is an author, speaker, and small business owner. He started ChurchYear.Net in 2004, along with his brother Jonathan. The site gets over one million visitors a year, and Bennett’s writings have appeared in church bulletins, newspapers, and other media.

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