First Day of the Solemn Christmas Novena
Try to spend five minutes in daily prayer and contemplation to better recognize the Christ Child and more fully receive His boundless blessings. Click the link for the full text of prayers to Pray the Solemn Christmas Novena based on the Seven Great O Antiphons.
BEHOLD THE KING The Lord of the earth who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai He is drawing near! He will come and remove from us the Yoke of our captivity of the House of Israel, and redeem us with outstretched arm.
R: O Come, Let us adore Him!
Tomorrow, December 17th, the Church begins the seven Great “O” Antiphons of the liturgy, that date back to the seventh or eighth century. These antiphons are chanted or recited at Vespers, or Evening Prayer, the Antiphon before the Magnificat. They are also the Alleluia verse at the Mass.
Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one — Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia — the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” In these words, the Lord Jesus, for whose coming we prepare in Advent and to whom we address these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to us. The O Antiphons not only bring intensity to our Advent preparations, but they bring our preparations to a joyful conclusion. Each antiphon begins with “O” and include a different Scriptural image through the Old Testament, all imploring the Messiah to come. As Elsa Chaney in Twelve Days of Christmas states, “They seem to sum up all our Advent longing as they paint in vivid terms the wretched condition of mankind and his need of a Savior.”