The titles of Christ in the O Antiphons have been invoked by the Church for at least 1,300 years. The Medieval monasteries would ring their largest bell as the choirs of monks intoned Mary’s Magnificat and these Advent antiphons. All seven can be found in the oracles of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, who gives us many memorable images of the Messiah. They are rich meditations on the One who is to come.
Although there are seven titles in the O Antiphons, only one has remained firmly in popular Christian culture, thanks to an Advent hymn: O Come, O Come Emmanuel. This Messianic title is the final of the seven O Antiphons. To help us pray and even SING these beautiful prayers, Thomas Smith uses a translation that matches that familiar Advent melody. The other titles are O Wisdom, O Lord, O Root of Jesse, O Key of David, O Light, and O King of the Nations.