The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Wisdom, Which Camest Out of the Mouth of the Most High

For Advent

Words and Source: John Henry Newman, "The Greater Advent Anthems" in Tracts for the Times, No. 75, 1836, reproduced in William Upton Richards, ed., Introits and hymns, with some anthems adapted to the seasons of the Christian year (London: Joseph Masters, 1852), pp. 14-16, #11-17.

"The following Anthems are to be used at Evening Prayer after the Third Collect."

See: Notes on Veni, Veni, Emmanuel

Dec. 16.

O Wisdom, Which camest out of the mouth of the Most High, reaching from one end to another, mightily and sweetly ordering all things; Come and teach us the way of understanding.

Dec. 17.

O Lord and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who appearedst to Moses in a flame of fire in the bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai; Com and deliver us with an outstretched arm.

Dec. 18.

O Root of Jesse, Which standest for an ensign of the people, at whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Thou to whom the Gentiles shall seek; Come and deliver us now, tarry not.

Dec. 19.

O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, Thou that openest and no man shutteth, and shuttest and no man openeth; Come and bring the prisoner out of the prison-house, and him that sitteth in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Dec. 20.

O Orient, Bright of the Everlasting Light, and Sun of Righteousness; Come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

[Dec. 21. No entry for this date. Historically a separate antiphon to St. Thomas the Apostle was recited on this date, which is his feast day: O Thoma Didyme, qui Christum meruisti cernere: te precibus rogamus altisonis, succurre nobis miseris, ne damnemur cum impils in Adventu Judicis.; O Thomas Didymus! who didst merit to see Christ; we beseech thee, by most earnest supplication, help us miserable sinners, lest we be condemned with the ungodly, at the coming of the Judge. Translation from Dom Prosper Guéranger, OSB, Advent, ca. 1841, Volume 1, The Liturgical Year, translated from the French by Dom Laurence Shepherd, O.S.B., ca. 1867. London: Stanbrook Abbey, 1918, p. 496.]

Dec. 22.

O King and Desire of all nations, Thou Corner-stone, who hast made both one; Come and save man, whom Thou formedst from the clay.

Dec. 23.

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, Hope of the Gentiles, and their Saviour; Come and save us, O Lord our God.

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