The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Greater Antiphons for Advent

For Advent

Words: Henry Nutcombe Oxenham

Source: Henry Nutcombe Oxenham, The Sentence of Kaïres and Other Poems. Second Edition. (London: Longmans Green and Co., 1867), Number IV.

See: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - Version 1 (with notes)


The Greater Antiphons for Advent.

(O Sapientia.)

O Wisdom, that proceedest from
The mouth of the Most High,
And through illimitable space
Extendest mightily;
Thou, that in sweetest harmony
Disposest all creation,
Come, guide our souls along the path
Of prudent contemplation!

(O Adonai.)

O Adonai, Israel's Ruler Thou,
To Moses in the flame-girt bush revealed,
Who gav'st to him the Law on Sinai's brow,
Come, lift Thine outstretched arm our souls to shield!

(O Radix Jesse.)

Root of Jesse, Ensign Thou
Set forth to every nation,
Unto Thee all kings shall bow
In speechless adoration.
Thine aid the Gentiles shall implore;
Come, and redeem us, tarry now no more!

(O Clavis David.)

Key of David, and sceptre
Of Israel's race,
Who openest and cloest
The portals of grace;
When Thou openest, none close,
When Thou shuttest, none ope, – 
Come lead from their bondage
The “prisoners of hope;”
Make speed, O Redeemer,
The captives to save,
Who in darkness abide,
And the gloom of the grave.

(O Oriens.)

Day-spring, Brightness of Eternal Light,
O Sun of Righteousness;
Come Thou, the dwellers in dark shades of night,
And in death's valley with Thine rising beams to bless.

(O Rex Gentium.)

O King, Desire of every nation,
O Corner-stone that both to one dost mould,
Come Thou, accomplish man's salvation,
Man, whom Thou formedst from the clay of old.

(O Emmanuel.)

O Law-giver, and King, Emmanuel, come –
Come Thou, the Gentiles tarry for Thy birth,
Predestined Saviour; from sin's righteous doom,
Come, save, O Lord our God, the tribes of earth!

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