O Antiphon | December 23

From December 17 through December 23, special antiphons known as the O Antiphons are chanted during the Liturgy of the Hours. As Father William Saunders explains, each of the O Antiphons refers to one of the titles of Jesus and the prophecies from Isaiah about the Messiah. During this week leading up to Christmas Eve, we will reflect on the O Antiphons and the scriptural sources that Fr. Saunders has identified.

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

Today, in the last of this series of antiphons, we pray joyfully for Jesus to come, and we use the title “Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” This is a direct reference to the seemingly simple, yet endlessly complex prophecy of Isaiah, “The Lord himself will give you this sign: the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

The prophecy, the antiphon, the Nativity we will celebrate in just two days’ time: all boil down to this word Emmanuel, “God is with us.” God is with us in the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, who comes to save us from sin and death.

As we prepare to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord, meditate on these simple words, and search for what they mean to you: Emmanuel; God is with us.

Pray with Bishop Reed:


O Antiphon | December 23