O Wisdom

Today we begin the final countdown before Christmas which is famously marked with the O Antiphons (and probably better known as the verses to “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”).    Before we take a closer look at each one, let’s start with the basics.  Just what is an antiphon?

Antiphon: a Psalm or verse sung or spoken in a responsorial fashion, in a call and response style.  At each Sunday Mass, you may encounter an antiphon at the parishioner’s part in the responsorial Psalm.

The O Antiphons are from Vespers in the Liturgy of the Hours and each highlights a title of the coming Messiah and it’s roots in the book of Isaiah.  The first one, O Wisdom, is rooted in two verses from the book of Isaiah:

“The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:2-3

“[…] he is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in wisdom.” Isaiah 28:29

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other mightily,
and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

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