During the final seven evenings of Advent, which begin on December 17, the antiphons for the Magnificat during evening prayer all begin with ‘O’ followed by a different name for the Messiah. The various names for the prophesied Christ originate from the book of Isaiah the prophet, to whom we hear from mostly during the Advent Season. As a group, these antiphons are known as the O Antiphons. The most common Advent hymn, O Come Emmanuel, is a hymn variation of these seven names of the Messiah. Yesterday, we covered the first of these antiphons, the O Sapientia antiphon. We will spend the six evenings looking at the remaining antiphons each in turn as we journey toward Christmas Day.
December 18: O Adonai antiphon (AKA the O Lord antiphon).
O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power!
Isaiah Reference: For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us. (Isaiah 33:22)
This chant (heard here or in the video below) soothes our ears to remind us, as Isaiah did, that Lord will save us. But from whom are we saved? Find a mirror. We are both victim and captor holding the keys to our own release. Just as Israel was a saved race, so too are we saved as individuals and as longing people. We need only to climb our own Sinai of doubt and feelings of unworthiness to receive the law, the law of Love, given to us time and time again should we stop listen and open our clenched hands into arms ready to receive a Holy Infant.
The famous Christmas Song ‘O Holy Night’ even reminds us, “His law is love, and his Gospel is peace”. His might power will come to us, and it will be in the form of Love. This day and always, may we descend our Sinai’s and live this greatest of commandments to love, so that Christ can truly be born in our hearts this Christmas.
You are worthy of love. Repeat that until you believe it.