WDTPRS: O Antiphons – 18 December – O Adonai

The O Antiphons: 18 December – O Adonai

LATIN: O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

ENGLISH: O Lord and Ruler the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: come, and redeem us with outstretched arms.

Scripture References:
Exodus 3
Micah 5:2
Matthew 2:6

Relevant verse of Veni, Veni Emmanuel:

O come, O come, thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud and majesty, and awe.

Adonai” is “LORD.” It was the Hebrew word that the Jews used when they found the four-lettered word for God’s name which they held to be too sacred to pronounce aloud. The four letter word for God’s Name, the Tetragrammaton, is still venerated by us to the point that Holy Church asks us not to use it in liturgical song.

Christ is Lord, Lord of Creation. We sang this yesterday in the antiphon “O Sapientia“. Christ is also Lord of the Covenant with the People He chose.

The Lord made covenants with Noah, Abraham, and Moses. He guided them and all the People. He gave them Law. He protected and feed them. The Lord delivered them from bondage to Pharaoh and unending slavery. He went before them with arm outstretched.

This was all a pre-figuring of the great work of redemption that Christ would work on the Cross. He redeemed us His People from Satan and the eternal damnation of hell.

He once appeared clothed in the burning bush that was not consumed by fire.

He is about to appear again clothed in flesh in our liturgical celebration of Christmas.

He will appear again one day in the future to judge the living and the dead.

He appears to us each day in the person of our neighbor.

What amazing contrasts we find in our Lord! He came in thunder and lightening to give the Law on Mt. Sinai. He comes now in swaddling clothes. He will come again in glory. He comes humbly in the appearance of Bread and Wine.

He still goes before us with outstretched arm and our foes are put to flight at the sight of His banner!

Shall we hear the Benedictines of Le Barroux sing the O Antiphon and Magnificat?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Pingback: O Antiphons – 18 December – O Adonai | Catholicism Pure & Simple

  2. Michael Haz says:

    I attended a lecture about the O Antiphons last evening. The lecture was given by a wonderfully well educated priest.

    After the class one of his colleagues pointed out that the first letter of the antiphons, starting backwards with O Emmanuel read on December 23rd and ending with O Sapientia read on December 17th form the word “erocras” which in Latin means “I will be tomorrow”. Tomorrow as meaning December 24th.

    The young priest who pointed this out was quite sincere about its meaning, about the Holy Spirit working in unseen ways, and so forth.

    So my question is: Is this possible, or is it a late-night seminarian tale along the lines of playing a Beatles record backwards and hearing the phrase “Paul is dead”?

    I know this is odd, at the least and will understand if it fails moderation.

    [Yes, this is odd. That priest is right. The first letters of the titles of the Lord used in the O Antiphons do spell out “Ero cras”.
    This was not a mistake.]

  3. Michael Haz says:

    Thank you!

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