by Sr Fidelis
The Great “O”‘s.
Today marks the beginning of Great Advent — the week before the celebration of the birth of Christ! With great sense of anticipation, the Divine Office manifests these changes in various ways; there are new antiphons for each psalm at Lauds, reflecting different aspects of his coming. At Vespers, the Great “O” Antiphons are sung before the Magnificat each night. These seven antiphons (all with a similar melody using Mode 2) share the same structure. They are fervent prayers of supplication; each beginning with the interjection “O”, followed by various names for the One who is to come, taken from the Old Testament. The final phrase of each antiphon begins with the word Veni — come — and a specific heartfelt request.
The first O antiphon, sung on December 17th, is O Sapientia — O Wisdom! Below is the music and text, along with an audio version.
who came forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from the beginning to the end,
and arranging all things firmly and sweetly:
Come to teach us the way of wisdom.