Our Latin Mass choir has been singing the "O Antiphons" in Advent for several years. Each Sunday of Advent they sing two of the antiphons. Four of the O Antiphons were sung by our choir at the St. Mary Magdalen combined choirs Christmas Concert on Monday night, December 17th. Here are recordings of the three selections sung by the choir:
O Antiphons (1, 3, 5, 7)
Puer Natus in Bethlehem
En Natus Est Emanuel
The O Antiphons developed during the Church's very first centuries. There are seven of these special antiphons, and their texts spring from the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures, the Prophetic and Wisdom Books. They are found in the Liturgy of the Hours or older Roman Breviary.
The O Antiphons are short prayers sung before and after the Magnificat, the great prayer of Mary in Luke 1:46-55 when coming visit to Elizabeth her cousin the Virgin praised God for His favor wondrous deeds. The Magnificat is sung during Vespers, evening prayer. The O Antiphons begin on 17 December, seven days before the Vigil of Christmas (24 December). The seventh and last antiphon is sung at Vespers on 23 December. They are called the "O Antiphons" because they all begin with the letter-word "O": they address Jesus by one of His Old Testament titles. They are fervent prayers asking Our Lord to come to us.
17 December: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
18 December: O Adonai (O Lord)
19 December: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
20 December: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
21 December: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
22 December: O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)
23 December: O Emmanuel (O God With Us)
Read more about the O Antiphons, their history, their meaning. Be sure to check the left side links for more details about each antiphon.