Monday, December 17, 2012


J. Lagerquest/A. O'Connell

December 17

Tonight at Vespers we sing the first Great "O", O SAPIENTIA (O Wisdom).

The seven "O Antiphons"  are prayers that come from Vespers during the Octave before Christmas Eve, a time which is called the "Golden Nights." It is believed they were sung as far back as the 5th C. in France.

Each Antiphon begins with "O" and addresses Jesus with a unique title which comes from the prophecies of Isaiah and Micah, and whose initials, when read backwards, form an acrostic for the Latin "Ero Cras" which means "Tomorrow I come."

The Great “O"s not only bring intensity to our Advent preparation, but bring it to a joyful conclusion.  As we daily sing these ancient antiphons, you shall all be included in our song!

Sr. Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ

O Wisdom coming forth from the mouth of the Most High God, Your Lordship is over all that is, stretching from the beginning to the end, You who order all things with might and with sweetness, come teach us the path of prudence. Make known to us Your ways."

 Like many Old Testament words, wisdom (in Hebrew hokma, in Greek sophia, in Latin sapientia) has a much broader meaning than our English word implies. Wisdom more than simple knowledge,  is the fullness of relationship with God. To be wise is to align our body, mind and spirit with the designs of God. It is to live in balance (a favorite concept of St. Benedict) and to possess equilibrium in our lives and to experience beauty in this world.
"All wisdom comes from the Lord and with Him it remains forever" (Sirach 1:1)

As we prepare in these last days for His coming, we need to pause and reflect and pray: O come, thou Wisdom from on high!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. I didn't know about this tradition, and the prayer is very beautiful. I am isolated from my faith community this year, so I will enjoy following along with you here. Please post the rest of the Os!