The O Antiphons are historic antiphons designated for the Magnificat, which is the traditional canticle for Vespers. There are seven O Antiphons, sung on the seven
Vespers leading up to December 24th:
- December 17: O Wisdom
- December 18: O Adonai
- December 19: O Root of Jesse
- December 20: O Key of David
- December 21: O Dayspring
- December 22: O King of the Nations
- December 23: O Emmanuel
The name of each antiphon is derived from Old Testament titles given to the Messiah. In fact, the hymn, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” is a lyrical version of these antiphons. Read more about the history and development of O Antiphons here.
Pr. Sean Daenzer has recorded the Antiphons sung to the Gregorian tones in The Brotherhood Prayer Book, beginning on page 397. The order for singing this Vespers canticle is Antiphon, Magnificat, Antiphon.
“O Wisdom, which camest out of the mouth of the Most High, and reachest from one end to another, mightily and sweetly ordering all things : Come and teach us the way of prudence.”