Wisdom IconStarting in the first millennium of Christianity, there was, in the church, a buildup to the feast of Christmas during the last seven days of Advent. Each day an antiphon was sung at Vespers, the prayer time held at sundown. These antiphons presented alluring metaphors for the attributes of Jesus mentioned in scripture.

The first letters of the titles of these antiphons read backwards spells "Ero Cras" which translates to "Tomorrow I will be."

Here are the O Antiphons and the dates on which they are sung.

  • December 17: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
  • December 18: O Adonai (O Lord)
  • December 19: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
  • December 20: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
  • December 21: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
  • December 22: O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)
  • December 23: O Emmanuel (O God With Us)

Perhaps those wanting to keep their focus on Jesus in the last very full days before Christmas might consider using the antiphons on the days suggested above as the focus of an ongoing meditation each day. For instance, one might ask, "How have I seen the wisdom of Christ in my life?" and ponder that all day on December 17th.
These meditations could be augmented by looking up pictures of each of them on Google illustrations. There are many fine works of art that have been created to demonstrate them.

You may have sung these antiphons and not realized it. They are contained in the hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Listen for this hymn sometime in Advent!

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