WDTPRS 23 December – The Final O Antiphon – O Emmanuel

Today is the final full day before the Vigil of Christmas.

In the last days of Advent before the Vigil, the Latin Church sings the O Antiphons for the Magnificat of Vespers.  The song O Come O Come Emmanuel is a setting of the essence of the O Antiphons.

When all of the O Antiphons have been sung, you can take the first letter of the first word (not O) and form an acrostic, SARCORE – which doesn’t mean much until you turn it backwards: EROCRAS, or “ero cras“, which in Latin means “I will be there tomorrow.”

LATIN: O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster.

ENGLISH: O Emmanuel (God with us), our King and lawgiver, the expectation of the nations and their Savior: come to save us, O Lord our God.

Scripture Reference:

Isaiah 7:14; 8:8
Matthew 1:23
Haggai 2:7

Relevant verse of  Veni, Veni Emmanuel:

O come, o come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.

In his Christmas address to the Roman Curia in 2008, His Holiness Benedict XVI speaks of the rules and the order in creation flowing from the “message” in creation.

All thing came into being through the Eternal Word.  The Word, spoken from all eternity by the Father, echoes in all of creation.  A message is written into creation.

The message has consequences, including order in nature, rules for life.

The message, with the laws it conveys, also are the grounds of true freedom.

What so many people can’t grasp today is that submission to the Lawgiver results in true freedom.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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One Response to WDTPRS 23 December – The Final O Antiphon – O Emmanuel

  1. Peter B says:

    We sing during EF (exit song) quite moving collection of “O Antiphons|” in the form of old Christian hymn “Veni, Veni Emmanuel” . A good example of gently interpretation of this hymn arranged by famous Hungarian musicologists, composer and world-know music educator Zoltán Kodály is performance of the L’Accorche-Choeur, Ensemble vocal Fribourg. This synthesis of the great “O Antiphons” that are used for Vespers during the octave before Christmas (Dec. 17-23) bring the ambiance of awaiting of the Lord (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRi1GDoaQu4 )

    Just to bring another perspective, of Christian tradition embedded into local, country, folk culture see a video with one of the folk ensembles from Eastern Poland (close to Lublin) illustrating old Polish traditions of preparing for Christmas. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKAavHP12eY&feature=youtu.be