O Antiphons of Advent

The “O Antiphons” are prayed for 8 days in preparation for Christmas: December 17–23. For those familiar with the Liturgy of the Hours, these are the antiphons used with the Magnificat each day. They are based on Isaiah’s prophecies and reveal the different titles given to the Messiah.

O Sapientia (O Wisdom) Isaiah 11:2–3; 28:29
O Adonai (O Lord) Isaiah 11:4–5; 33:22
O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse) Isaiah 1:1; 11:10
O Clavis David (O Key of David) Isaiah 9:6; 22:22
O Oriens (O Rising Sun) Isaiah 9:1
O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations) Isaiah 9:5; 2:4
O Emmanuel (God with us) Isaiah 7:14

Since each antiphon is short, it is helpful to spend time reading it each day, pondering it and praying it meditatively throughout the day as a way to make immediate spiritual preparation for Christmas.

December 17

O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!

December 18

O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!

December 19

O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!

December 20

O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!

December 21

O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.

December 22

O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!

December 23

O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!


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