In the Medieval English church, they added an eighth antiphon, addressed to the Virgin, and included it by moving all the antiphons forward a day to begin on 16th December. Now the English church follows the rest of Christendom with the arrangement of seven antiphons, but I thought it would be good to include it, appended to the end. After all, without Mary…
O Virgo virginum, quomodo fiet istud?
Quia nec primam similem visa es nec habere sequentem.
Filiae Jerusalem, quid me admiramini?
Divinum est mysterium hoc quod cernitis.
O Virgin of virgins, how shall this be?
For neither before thee was any like thee, nor shall there be after.
Daughters of Jerusalem, why marvel ye at me?
The thing which ye behold is a divine mystery.
Here is the setting by Josquin des Prez, with a cracking good video of Mabuse’s Nativity.
Follow this link for a glorious rendition of all the antiphons (in German) by Arvo Part:
Here’s wishing you joy over the Twelve Days and for the forthcoming year.
O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.
O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,
the hope of the nations and their Saviour:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.
The sixth antiphon for Advent.
O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.
O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.
For a little change from the sombre piety…
Solstice sunrise over Oxford
The Dawn Breaking, the Light of the World
splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
O Morning Star,
splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
Choir of Merton College, Oxford, composer Cecilia McDowell
The fourth antiphon for Advent.
O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel;
qui aperis, et nemo claudit;
claudis, et nemo aperit:
veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;
you who open and no man shuts;
you who shut and no man opens:
Come and lead out from the house of bondage,
the prisoner who is sitting in darkness and the shadow of death.
O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem Gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.
O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.
Setting by Vytautas Miskinis – Vilnius State Choir with Moscow State Orchestra:
Adonai is the name of the Messiah to do with Kingship.
O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel,
qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.
O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.
This rendition is from Canta Cochita.