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 sixth of these antiphons, the O Rex Gentium antiphon. Today, we look at the final, the most widely known.
December 23 – O Emmanuel Antiphon (AKA O Emmanuel, God with us)
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God!
Isaiah Reference: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
Emmanuel, God with us, which can be heard here or seen in the video below, and completes our look and listen to the O Antiphons. Our salvation is with us, in the humblest form conceivable: that of an infant. We give our seventh and final petition to be saved, and we are reminded that Emmanuel to come, is already with. That for which we have longed for has longed simply for us to know that he has always been with us.
Can you imagine if we believed this? Not only believed, but lived the belief that God truly is with us? What would that look like? What would that sound like? How would it feel to experience divinity within? Have we not all touched a moment that felt timeless? Have we not had conversations with loved ones or friends that left us asking ‘where has the time gone?’ This Christmas, my prayer is that you lose complete track of time. That which is infinite has come into time, so that we within time may know that which is infinite: Love.
You are loved.