“O Wisdom, Come” (Proverbs 8:12-31; Colossians 1:15-20, 28; 2:2-3; John 1:1-5, 9)

First Sunday in Advent
November 28, 2010

“O Wisdom, Come” (Proverbs 8:12-31; Colossians 1:15-20, 28; 2:2-3; John 1:1-5, 9)

The Advent hymn we just sang, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” goes back about 900 years, to the 12th century. But the texts on which this hymn is based go back a few centuries before that, even–maybe 1200 years ago or more. They are known as the Great “O” Antiphons, and you can see them printed there on the facing page in your hymnal (LSB 357).

What is an antiphon, you ask? An antiphon is a little framing verse that is sung before and after a canticle or a psalm. These O Antiphons were chanted before and after the Magnificat at Vespers during Advent. There are seven of them, and historically they were used over the last seven days before Christmas Eve Day, in other words, from December 17 through December 23. We’re going to use them before then, over our seven Advent services beginning today, the four Sunday Divine Services and our three Wednesday Vespers. This will give us a continuing theme running through our observance of Advent this year: “The Seven Great ‘O’ Antiphons.”

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Published in: on November 27, 2010 at 10:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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