Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

November 30, 2009

Advent Reflections

I have always loved the season of Advent. I don't know why...maybe because O Come, O Come Emmanuel is one of my favorite hymns, maybe because it's such a solemn but beautiful time period in the Church. I have been feeling moved to study salvation history, and perhaps that is yet another reason I so very much love Advent. This year, I've decided to get an Advent wreath and start saying some daily Advent prayers.

Back when I was in grade school, we used to pray the 'O Antiphons,' the titles of Christ found in the Old Testament prophecies. The titles are: Wisdom, Adonai, Root of Jesse, Key of David, Dayspring, King of all Nations, Emmanuel. You'll notice that the hymn O Come, O Come Emmanuel is based upon these titles. Here's a little more info I found about them from this article written by Fr. William Saunders.

The importance of “O Antiphons” is twofold: Each one highlights a title for the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel. Also, each one refers to the prophecy of Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah.

According to Professor Robert Greenberg of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one - Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia - the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” Therefore, the Lord Jesus, whose coming we have prepared for in Advent and whom we have addressed in these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to us, “Tomorrow, I will come.” So the “O Antiphons” not only bring intensity to our Advent preparation, but bring it to a joyful conclusion.
Well, I want to know the deep theological meaning of each one. That's my prayer for this Advent. In this way, I believe that I can know Christ more fully, and ask Him to fill my heart in a new way. And isn't that what this season and well, our lives all about? I love how Advent reminds of us of that in a simple and beautiful, joyful and solemn way.

If you are interested in doing this prayer, a great website can be found here.

Also, EWTN has a great resource for Advent reflections too.

1 comment:

Julian said...

I have never prayed this, but I have always wanted to. Thanks for the link and for the explanation.

Related Posts with Thumbnails