Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Deacon Dulas: "O Emmanuel"

Here's the 7th in the series on the "O" Antiphons by Deacon Jerry Dulas.

Listen to today's antiphon at


The final "O" antiphon prepares us for the Nativity of our Lord.

O Emmanuel,
Rex et legifer noster,
exspectatio gentium,
et Salvator earum:
Veni, ad salvandum nos
Domine Deus noster.

O Emmanuel*,
our King and Lawgiver,
the Expectation of the Nations
and their Savior:
Come, and save us,
O Lord our God.

*not usually translated; means "God with us"

In addition to the prophetic title of Emmanuel, four other titles comprise this "O" antiphon: King, Lawgiver, Expectation of the Nations, and Savior. These four titles of the promised Messiah, sum up the other "O" antiphons, and in fact all the other "O" antiphons have a mood of expectation, and waiting. This one speaks as if the event that has been long expected has already happened. And in this sense it prepares us for birth of our God in the flesh. The four titles used in this "O" antiphon each play a role in the promised blessing of this "O" antiphon, which is that our Lord God will save us.

The first two titles, "King" and "Lawgiver," are common titles of the Messiah. The combination of the two titles is found in the Prophet Isaiah (33:22), "For the LORD is our Judge, The LORD is our Lawgiver, The LORD is our King; He will save us." (NKJV) This Scripture passage summarizes today's "O" antiphon.

How does a king save? He rules with justice and dispenses His gifts to those who serve Him for their benefit. Our Lord Jesus, Who left His kingdom of heaven, to be born into our flesh, now sits on the right hand of the the Father as our king, interceding for us, and judging all those who believe on Him to be innocent and holy, for the sake of His suffering and death for us.

How does a lawgiver save? He upholds the laws, and our dear Lord Jesus, for us, fulfills the Law perfectly, then He takes on our sentence of death upon Himself, so that we might have eternal life with Him. In these two names, our dear Lord Jesus, is truly Emmanuel; "God with us," for He makes He makes His dwelling place to be amongst us for and for our benefit out of His great love for us.

The next two titles, "Expectation of the Nations" and "Savior" shows us that the promised Messiah, is not just for the Jews, but is also the Expectation and Savior of the Gentiles. This was foretold by Jacob in His words of blessing to his sons on his death bed. (Genesis 49:10) "The scepter shall not be taken away from Judah, nor a ruler from his thigh, till he come that is to be sent, and he shall be the expectation of nations." (Douay-Rheims) The One Whom the Jews waited for, has now become the One all nations wait for during the season of Advent. He is the Savior of all mankind, especially those that believe on Him.

And now all those who believe on Him, call Him by the Name that sums up all the prophetic titles of the seven "O" antiphons, that is, "our Lord and God."

O Lord and God, come, and save us.
Be born in our flesh,
suffer and die for us
with outstretched arms on Calvary,
make the tree of the cross a banner for all nations,
open to us the gates of heaven
by Thy holy and blessed means of grace,
and bring us out of the fetters of sin and death.
Enlighten this dark world full of sin
by Thy radiant, eternal, life-giving light,
and bind all nations, both Jews and Gentiles,
into one, holy nation,
so that all those who call upon Thee as Emmanuel
and rejoice in Thy incarnation
may have the eternal joy and peace
which Thou freely givest;
Who livest and reignest with the Father,
and the Holy Ghost,
ever one God,
world without end.


Deacon Dulas also provides this setting from Liber Usualis.  It is a different psalm tone than the one you'll here on Time Out.


Deacon Dulas is ordained into the pastorate and member of the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America (  In his own words, "My call is to serve as deacon and missionary-at-large to MN and WI at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Tony, WI.  We are starting a mission here in Mayer, MN, and the surrounding area called St. Matthew Ev. Luth. Mission."

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