Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Late Advent Week Days or the Antiphons (1)

or the O Antiphones of the last week

Dec. 17th- the 24th

The "Late Advent Weekdays" or December 17-24, mark the singing of the Great Advent O Antiphons. These are the antiphons for the Magnificat at Vespers, or Evening Prayer (in the Roman Catholic Church) and Evensong (in the Anglican Church) each day, and mark coming birth of the Messiah. They cover the Advent period known as Octave.
No one is absolutley sure of the exact orgin of the "O Antiphons". There is a reference to them in the early 500's by Boethius a Christian Philosopher, suggesting there presence at that time.

The O Antiphons were originally chanted. They form the basis for the verses of the popular Advent hymn, "O come, O come, Emmanuel" which was translated into English in 1851 by John Mason Neale. It is believed that the present melody is of French origin and was added to the text somewhere in the 12th century.
I have added a scripture from Isiaiah as was the original tradition and a small prayer to each day, followed by the O Antiphon and the refrain. Enjoy...

for a very cool and in-depth explanation of the Atiphons please check out
Antiphons chanted in latin
for more information on Anicius Boethius go to

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