Categories: HomiliesPublished On: December 18th, 2021Tags: , 339 words10.3 min read
O Antiphons

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O Antiphons

Perhaps you have heard about the O Antiphons and wondered what is this all about? Some of you may know that we sing the O Antiphons when we sing O Come, O Come Emmanuel. What is the story behind this?

Many people have begun praying the Liturgy of Hours. I will avoid the Latin names for the time of prayer for this time. Suffice it to say two of the times religious and others praying the Liturgy of Hours pray are morning and evening prayers. There are two passages of importance that are recited every day. In the morning, the Canticle of Zechariah is prayed. In the evening the Magnificat is prayed. Before praying the Magnificat there is an antiphon that is said.

An antiphon is something like we say when we do a responsorial psalm. The seven days before Christmas, starting on December 17 have special antiphons that are used in the antiphon before reciting the Magnificat. They are unique in two interesting ways. First, you many have guessed, they start with “O”. Second, unless you are up on your Latin, the words for wisdom, law, rod, key, dayspring, and desire when written in Latin help to form another Latin word. You take the first letter of those words listed above, in Latin, and take the first letter of those words to form another word which in Latin means “I come tomorrow!” Cool, right? Well at least I think so.

It brings to light how much we lose in translations. And explains why the Church works so hard to preserve correct translations.

What are your family traditions? Maybe you have some favorite recipes? Maybe your family always goes sledding? Whatever you may do, enjoy the family time together. Remember those who have no family to share this season. Spend time together.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen