19 December: O-Antiphon

Here is the O Antiphon for 19 December: O Radix Jesse

LATIN: O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardare.

ENGLISH: O Root of Jesse, that stands for an ensign of the people, before whom the kings keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: come, to deliver us, and tarry not.

Scripture References:

Isaiah 11:10
Romans 15:12
Revelation 5:5

Relevant verse of  Veni, Veni Emmanuel:

O come, O Rod of Jesse free,
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o’er the grave.

What urgency there is in this antiphon.

Something that lies below the earth (a root) stands high unto the heavens like a banner! 

Vexilia Regis Prodeunt we sing in Lent. The little root of Advent becomes by Lent grows into the Tree of our salvation. 

Isaiah 11:10 gives us imagery for our reflection today. The great prophet of Advent tells us that the kingdom of David would be destroyed, but not entirely destroyed. A root would remain. Jesse is David’s father. David is Jesse’s root. David leads to Christ. After the destruction there remains a root.  No matter what the exigencies of life present to us or how turbulent the vicissitudes of the passing world may be, when we cling to the root we are sure to be victorious in the end.


Some sharing options...

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 19 December: O-Antiphon

  1. feminaprovita says:

    May I suggest an alternately punctuated version of the O Come, O Come Emmanuel verse:

    O come, O Rod of Jesse, free
    Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
    From depths of hell Thy people save,
    And give them victory o’er the grave.

    Moving the comma from after “free” to before it changes Christ’s title from “O Rod of Jesse free” and gives the sentence a verb.

    (I’m a grammar geek as well as a Liturgy geek. Just thought I’d pass along what I saw.)

  2. Prof. Basto says:

    Thank you, father, for those wonderful reflections.

  3. Supertradmom says:

    In reference to the Radix Jesse and Vexilia Regis Prodeunt, have you ever seen the beautiful painting by David Jones, which is in Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge? Our beautiful Catholic Faith, especially the Latin Mass, has inspired the poetry of the O Antiphons and centuries of paintings and drawings. Thanks be to God. And when I was very young, did we not say the “O Happy Fault, O Necessary Sin of Adam” reference at the Mass of Christmas Eve? Can anyone verify when this Holy Week prayer was used in the Mass of December 24th, which I think used to be the Feast of Ss. Adam and Eve as well. Tree to tree.