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.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.
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.
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.