Ad Te Levávi Ánimam Meam

To Thee have I lifted up my soul (Introit – 1st Sunday of Advent)

The O Antiphons And The Mass

Posted by james0235 on December 23, 2007

While the O Antiphons that form the basis of O Come, O Come Emmanuel are most typically heard during Vespers they are also used in the Mass. Sort of.

In the Missal of Paul VI, the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the O Antiphons are used as the Alleluia Verse before the Gospel. They have been rearranged and they are worded a little differently. But, they are there.

Rather than being prayed from December 17 to December 23 as in the Liturgy of the Hours, these Alleluia Verses are used from December 17 to the morning Mass of December 24 (not the Vigil Mass of Christmas) with the exception of Sunday Mass.

To accomplish this the Alleluia Verse of December 22 is repeated on December 23 to stretch the 7 Antiphons over 8 days. They have also been rearranged. We no longer have the “Ero Cras” or “Tomorrow I will be” that is seen when reading the first letter (in Latin) of each Antiphon backwards from the December 23rd to the 17th.

The Table below shows the differences:


Dec. 17
Dec. 18
Dec. 19
Dec. 20
Dec. 21
Dec. 22
Dec. 23
Dec. 24


O Wisdom
O Sacred Lord*
O Root of Jesse
O Key of David
O Radiant Dawn
O King of Nations
O Emmanuel


O Wisdom
O Leader*
O Root of Jesse
O Key of David
O Emmanuel
O King of Nations
O King of Nations
O Radiant Dawn

* These are effectively the same thing. They are based on the same Antiphon but translated differently.

December 17th
Sapientia Altissimi, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

Alleluia, alleluia. Come, Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: teach us to walk in the paths of knowledge. Alleluia, alleluia.

December 18th

Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in bracchio extento.

Alleluia, alleluia. O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power! Alleluia, alleluia.

December 19

Radix Iesse, stans in signum populorum:
veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardare.

Alleluia, alleluia. O root of Jesse’s stem, sign of God’s love for all his people: come to save us without delay!

December 20th

Clavis David, qui aperis portas aeterni Regni:
veni et educ vinctum de domo carceris sedentem in tenebris.

Alleluia, alleluia. O Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners darkness! Alleluia, alleluia.

December 21st

Emmanuel, rex et legifer noster:
veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.

Alleluia, alleluia. O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God! Alleluia, alleluia.

December 22nd and 23rd

Rex gentium et lapis angularis Ecclesiae:
veni et salva hominem quem de limo formasti.

Alleluia, alleluia. O King of all nations and keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust! Alleluia, alleluia.

December 24th

Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae et sol iustitiae:
veni et illumina sedentes in tenebris et umbra mortis.

Alleluia, alleluia. O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death. Alleluia, alleluia.

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