O Antiphons

Reflections on the Church’s evening verses counting down the last octave to Christmas…


“Who is this, who comes forth like the dawn?” ~ Song of Songs 6:10


O, You are Wisdom!

The Wisdom that was there

Before anything was there.

Who was in the beginning

Before the beginning


with the Father

and the Spirit


You’re the One who played and danced

Who ran about and sang, delighting

The Word leaping forth from the mouth of the Father

Calling into being

The wonder of the world.

Come, O Wisdom!

Leap now into this flesh that you first called forth

Take up this body that was prepared for you

That you prepared for yourself.

And bring new life, speak new life, O Wisdom, Word,

to this broken creation.



Who is this?

O, it is the Lord!

The Lord of Israel!

The God of Abraham,

Of Isaac,

Of Jacob.

Israel’s God.

The One that belongs to this people

Because You gave yourself to this people.

And you took them for your own.

You’re the One who re-called us

Sealing us in covenant with you

In the blood of the lamb.

When you brought us out of slavery.

Into new life.

Come, O Lord, and save us!

For we seem to love the slavery and have bound ourselves again

Far away from You.

Renew this covenant we have broken

And seal us again in the blood of the Lamb

As your own possession.



O, You are the Root of Jesse!

The root

and the flower.

The source

And the fruit

Of Jesse’s stem.

Who from the beginning planted Jesse’s vine

To bear it’s Planter

The fruit of our salvation.

You’re the One that was promised,

That generations have longed for

To bring back the hope

That was assured to Abraham

The seed to undo the ancient curse.

Come, O Root and Flower of Jesse!

Come be the fruition, the fulfillment we long for!

The completion of what You started

In this simple family from Bethlehem

Fulfill Your promise to feed, with it’s fruit,

The whole world.



O, You are the Key of David!

David our king,

Our Good Shepherd

The Beloved One after Your own heart

The One with the Key to gain us access

Into the Heart of the Father.

The Leader we remember

with affectionate longing.

You’re this new Good Shepherd,

The Beloved One,

Who led us through darkness and light,

Who taught us how to worship, how to love

How to take up all of life

and offer it in songs of praise.

Come, O Key of David!

Come, Beloved, to Your own,

To your flesh and bone

Who are aching to belong to you once more.

Unlock for us the door

To the Father’s Heart.



O, You are the Dayspring!

The Light rising

In the East

The New Dawn, promised

By the heralds of the morning.

The One seen by our fathers

And foretold by prophets.

Who would re-make, and restore

Re-seal, and re-consecrate.

You’re the One to make all things new,

The Lion and the Lamb,

the rivers in the desert

The blind and the lame restored,

And foreigners made part of the family.

Come, O Dawn in the East!

Come, Light of the first day,

reach at last, with your rays, to all hours, all days

Restore to us the freshness of the beginning

Fill in the holes that we have made, shattering

the ancient darkness.



O, it is the King of the Nations!

The One to reconcile

To restore

The chaos and brokenness of Babel

To bring back, streaming, all peoples

To the Unity of Zion’s mountain.

And gather into one again

The countless grains of Abraham’s sand.

You’re the Longing of every heart

The only rest and fulfillment

Of all the seekers, all the lost

Outside the boundaries of the mercy

of your covenant to David.

Come, O King of the Nations!

Come restore to yourself the sheep who have wandered

Outside the bonds of your own people.

Come make us one again,

Form us from the dust of this earth

into one body.



O, You are Emmanuel!! God with us!!

The Creating Wisdom,

come into creation.

The Saving Lord,

Become the Paschal Lamb.

The Root become

the Fruit to feed the vine

The King become

the Key to His own Heart.

You’re the Dawn that’s now descending into darkness

To restore us all to that beginning oneness

You’re the One now walking with us,

as was promised

To re-form the shattered Man

from Your own earth.


O Emmanuel!

come into the darkness, and the pieces of our lives

so we might hold you in our hands

See you with our eyes.

O One Whose Name is “With us”

Come into our dirt and tears

into our flesh and bone,

and the weariness of years

the weariness of ages poised in vigil:

the waiting of the world,

the aching of the world

when tomorrow never felt so far away

O God-with-us, draw us in

Come and meet us here, again,

That we, whom you are with,

May be with You, too, today.


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