In the spirit of not reinventing the wheel reblogging on the O Antiphons.
Originally posted on Cooking for Jesus: Celebrating the Christian Year:
Perhaps the best known Advent hymn is “O Come, o Come, Emmanuel.” What you may not know is that it is not 1 hymn but 7 as it is the compilation of what are known as the “O Antiphons”.
A bit of musical terminology first. An antiphon is a response (The Greek means “other voice”) usually to a psalm reading. Think of it this way: instead of quoting a bit of scripture and saying ‘Can I have an Amen?!” You’re reading a bit of scripture and saying “Can I have a ANtiphon?!
In the last week of Advent that response–typically not a psalm but to the Magnificat when sung during the evening service of vespers–comes in the form of the “O Antiphons”, so termed because each of these response prayers begins with “O”. There are 7 O Antiphons (8 in the English Sarum Cycle ), and they…
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