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As we come to the end of Advent, at Evening Prayer we use special antiphons (verses before and after) with the Magnificat (The Song of Mary, Luke 1:46-55). The texts are of unknown origin and date at least from the ninth century and are likely far older and provide an excellent source for reflection in the days before Christmas.

Each antiphon begins with the letter "O" and a name or attribute of God from the Hebrew Scriptures:

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!