You’ll remember I cheated and started the O antiphons one day early. This is because in mediaeval English practice, the O antiphons were begun early, and an extra antiphon was tagged on at the end. England being the Our Lady’s Dowry, we finish the sequence with O virgo virginum (virgin of virgins). This makes the reverse acrostic ‘vero cras’, ‘truly tomorrow’.
- O Virgo virginum, quomodo fiet istud? Quia nec primam similem visa es nec habere sequentem. Filiae Jerusalem, quid me admiramini? Divinum est mysterium hoc quod cernitis.
- In English:
- O Virgin of virgins, how shall this be? For neither before thee was any like thee, nor shall there be after. Daughters of Jerusalem, why marvel ye at me? The thing which ye behold is a divine mystery.
- Here is a beautiful setting by Josquin des Prez: