O Sapientia

The antiphon for 17th December, the first of the ‘O’ antiphons of Advents, is dedicated to Wisdom. Wisdom is deified in many cultures and is usually a goddess, e.g. Sophia, Athena and Saravati. Here she is the first epithet of the Messiah as prophesied by Isaiah. In the Christian tradition, Wisdom is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

 

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other,
mightily and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

Sung by the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford: 

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