Welcome to the first of our three Wednesday Advent services. These are intended to be short, without communion, but with prayer, hymns, and we pray introspection as we together walk through this season of preparation. You’ll notice O Come, O Come, Emmanuel often in this season, first, because I love the sound of it, and more importantly, that it so well fits the Advent season – we await His coming, not only for the first Christmas, but in His second coming to herald the end of all things and as God Himself, the making of all things new.
You’ll notice we refer to, and speak, the seven Great “O” Antiphons. They are an ancient form of worship in the Christian church, probably from before the 6th century AD when they are first mentioned. So what’s an antiphon? This from Oxford Languages: “a short sentence sung or recited before or after a psalm or canticle.” The 7 Great O Antiphons each speak a Biblical attribute or name of Jesus: O Wisdom, O Root of Jesse, O Key of David, etc.
For us, they are closely associated with O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and you hear them this time of year together with that hymn. As you hear them, consider just how many centuries people have worshipped the Risen Christ, the One promised by Gabriel to Mary, the One who was born on Christmas and dedicated His life – and His death and resurrection – to us.
Blessings as you live these days of Advent in anticipation of the King!