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The seven O antiphons
for mixed choir
Level of difficulty: 2=Easy
1. O Weisheit (O Sapientia)
2. O Adonai (O Herr)
3. O Wurzel Jesse (O Radix Jesse)
4. O Schlüssel Davids (O Clavis David)
5. O Morgenstern (O Oriens)
6. O König der Völker (O Rex gentium)
7. O Immanuel (Gott mit uns)
What are O Antiphons ?
The O Antiphons are seven verses sung in the Roman Catholic Church during Advent that invoke Jesus Christ with Old Testament titles to express the longing for salvation and hope.
The chants reflect the ancient tradition of call songs and are a prophetic vision expressing the desire for the coming of the Lord.
About the work
From December 17 to 23, the so-called great O antiphons are sung in the Church's Liturgy of the Hours (at Vespers). In Latin, they all begin with O (rendered in translation by "you") and call for the coming of the One who can fulfill all human longing (Schott Mass Book 1984).
"The last week before Christmas is distinguished by seven festive Magnificat antiphons.
They invoke Jesus with titles taken from Old Testament prophecy:
O Wisdom ... O Root of Jesse ... etc.
We learn that they were very popular in the Carolingian period. However, they go back to an older, probably Roman tadition. Their popularity in the Middle Ages is evident in many imitations, but they are nowhere near as powerful as the original seven antiphons.
In the renewed liturgy, the texts of the antiphons also appear in the lectionary as the Hallelujah verses from Dec. 17-23."
"The great antiphons of Advent should not remain hidden treasures, known only here and there. It is most beautiful if they are sung on each of the days between December 17 and 23" (Werkbuch zum Gotteslob 1975).