O Antiphons – December 17

antipwnedOne of the beautiful parts of the Advent Season are the “O Antiphons”. These occur during Evening Prayer.  Towards the end of Evening Prayer, we rise and chant the Magnificat, Mary’s song.  (You know these antiphons–I’m sure.  You sing them often enough–the antiphons, together, form the Advent hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.)  Before we chant, the cantor intones a small versicle that will prepare us to chant this piece of scripture.  This versicle is called the antiphon.  The O Antiphons occur in the evenings between December 17 through December 23.  These special antiphons illustrate Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming of the Son of God as a child among us.  They are deeply Christological and magnify certain parts of our theology pertaining the Son of God.

In my reflections in the bulletin, I will offer three concise thoughts about three of six O Antiphons that occur during this time of year.  Here, on the blog, I hope to expand some of my thoughts about each antiphon.

I pray that these reflections prepare you well for the Great Day of Christ’s Mass.

(Translations of the O Antiphons taken from the USCCB website.  Many images from Catholic.org)


December 17

O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!


Jesus Christ is indeed Wisdom, the physical manifestation of the Wisdom of God.  God the Father spoke the Word of God, Wisdom Himself, upon the world.  Wisdom Himself is the agent of creation, the Word that created all things.  This harkens to the prologue of the Gospel of John primarily.

There was no time in which the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity was not.  The Second Person is just as powerful and eternal as the Creator God and the Spirit of God.  The Creator God spoke the Word, the Second Person, and creation was made manifest.  The Spirit of God was breathed into the world, and into each one of us, making us and image and likeness of the Creator.

Jesus spoke, and we were made. We were intentionally made, thought of, spoken of, and given to the world as a gift.  We are not an accident. We are not a random blaring of atoms.  We are intentionally and wonderfully made by a God who loves us.

When the Son of God was made a human being, he came to us to teach us how to live and how to die.  We learn how to live a virtuous life by meditating upon his every word and action.  We imitation him in order to become a reflection of our God.

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