The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Great Antiphons

For Advent

Words: Veni, Veni, Emanuel (the "O" Antiphons),
Authorship Unknown, 8th Century Latin;
Published: Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum, Köln, 1710.

Music: "Veni Emmanuel," 15th Century French Plain Song melody,
Arranged and harmonized by Thomas Helmore in
Hymnal Noted, Part II (London: 1856)
Based on a 15th Century French Processional
(Some sources give a Gregorian, 8th Century origin.)
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML
Melody Only: MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

Meter: 88 88 88

See: Notes on Veni, Veni, Emmanuel

Source: Mary Perkins, ed., At Your Ease in the Catholic Church (Sheed & Ward, 1938), p. 114.

December 17. O Wisdom, that proceeds from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end, mightily and sweetly disposing all things, come to teach us the way of prudence.

December 18. 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 to redeem us by outstretched arm.

December 19. O root of Jesse, who stands as the ensign of the peoples, before whom kings shall not open their mouths, to whom, the nations shall pay, come to deliver us, tarry now no more.

December 250. O key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: come and lead the captive from prison, sitting in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

December 21. O Orient, splendor of eternal light, and sun of justice, come and enlighten those who sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

December 22. O King of nations, and their desired one, and the corner-stone, that makes both one, come and save man, whom you formed out of dust.

December 23. O Emmanuel, our King and lawgiver, the expectation and Savior of the nations, come to save us, O Lord, our God.


On some days, the following Versicle and Response are recited:

V. Drop down dew, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down the just one.

R. Let the earth be opened, and bud forth a Savior.

Also found in The Roman Breviary (New York: Beringer Bros, 1964), pp 26-27, and in other contemporary prayers, novenas, etc.

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