Today is the beginning of Advent part II. The first part of Advent was more vague, and focused first the coming of Christ on the last day as much as the coming of Christ at Christmas. Now, we start remembering the nativity of Christ and preparing for our celebrations of Christmas. There are 7 days between now and the day before Christmas Eve, including today, so we now have an octave to prepare for Christmas. The O antiphons (beginning with the interjection ‘O’), are one thing we can use to prepare in this way.
You’ll notice I cheated and began yesterday. This is because I like the Anglican tradition, which gives nine days to the preparation (a novena). There is another reason, which I will explain in the fulness of time.
Today’s O antiphon is O Adonai.
O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.
O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai:
come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.
And here are the very excellent Dominicans at Blackfriars, Oxford:
(If you were wondering why your hymnbook stated that O come O come Emmanual shouldn’t be sung before the 17th December, now you know.)