Experience the ‘O’ Antiphons at Advent Vespers!


Experience the ‘O’ Antiphons at Advent Vespers!


Beginning Friday, December 17th, we celebrate Solemn Vespers in the final days leading up to Christmas. The revered 'O Antiphons' are sung while the church bells are pealed in expectation of the Messiah.


In this spirit of anticipated joy, one of the most beautiful liturgical traditions of these final days before Christmas is the Great “O” Antiphons.” These are chanted at the beginning and end of the Magnificat during Vespers each of the seven days before Christmas Eve. Each day, a different antiphon announces the coming of Christ by invoking a poetic image from one of the Old Testament prophecies of a long-awaited Savior: “O Wisdom,” “O Lord of the Covenant,” “O Root of Jesse,” “O Key of David,” “O Radiant Dawn,” “O King of Nations,” “O Emmanuel, God with us.”


Some think the “O Antiphons” were composed by a monk sometime between the sixth and eighth centuries. But in truth, we really don’t know their origin. They are nonetheless beautiful and have been an important part of Advent for many centuries.


The beautiful melodies of the “O” Antiphons will fill the walls of St. John Cantius Church during this period of solemn anticipation. The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius invite everyone to join us for Rosary and Solemn Vespers and the chanting of the “O” Antiphons from December 17 through December 23 4:30 p.m.