Friday, December 18, 2009

"O" Antiphons and "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"

The Advent carol, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" is a verse form of the "O" Antiphons.  Using the antiphon for December 18, here is how things line up in Lutheran Service Book.

O Antiphon:
O Adonai and ruler of the house of Israel,
Who  appeared to Moses in the burning bush
and gave him the Law on Sinai:
Come with an outstretched arm and redeem us.

Hymn Stanza:
O Come, O Come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai's height
In ancient times did give the Law
In cloud and majesty and awe.

Using Deacon Dulas' definition from yesterday, the Old Testament reference to Christ in the antiphon is "Adonai" and the promise or blessing is that God would "redeem us."

When you apply this criteria to the hymn verse, "Lord of might" is the Old Testament reference to Christ, omits the promise or blessing is missing.  Each of the hymn verses uses only the Old Testament description without asking for the promise or blessing.

Another unique feature of the hymn is that they are not ordered in the same way as the O Antiphons. 

Antiphon for December 17 = Stanza 2
Antiphon for December 18 = Stanza 3

Antiphon for December 19 = Stanza 4
Antiphon for December 20 = Stanza 5
Antiphon for December 21 = Stanza 6
Antiphon for December 22 = Stanza 7
Antiphon for December 23 = Stanza 1

The Service of "O" Antiphons uses the prose text of the antiphon, the correlating hymn text and the appropriate reading from Scripture or the inter-testamental books.  Also, a short message can be preached about each antiphon.

Listen to the "O" Antiphons each day between now and December 23 at

Keep an eye out here at All for Hymn for Deacon Dulas' expositions on the O Antiphons.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Differing opinions are welcome! Please keep comments on an academic level. Lively discussions and alternate opinions are productive, arguments and accusations are not.

Please leave a name or pseudonym at the end of your comment so the conversation can continue. Alternately, you can log in using Yahoo, AOL/AIM, Google, Netlog, or Open ID on any comment page.

Comment Moderation is on to ensure that blog author reads each comment. The goal is to read and reply to each comment.

Note: you may have to hit "Preview" first and then "Post."