About that Song
Christmas is almost here. You have seen the decorations. You have bought some gifts. You are hoping for some gifts. And perhaps you have heard that familiar song, O Come O Come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel….and your heart kind of pauses a bit. I hope it does. Because this song has imagery that sounds like Christmas: lonely exile, gloomy clouds of night, sad divisions. Or does it?
Who associates Christmas with “path to misery and death’s dark shadows”? God does. Because he promises to free us all from these troubles through the birth of his Son, Jesus Christ. And this IS what we celebrate on Christmas Eve – the birth of our Victor, who will one day triumph over the powers of death and sin.
The verses in this song address Christ with seven magnificent Messianic titles, each based on an Old Testament prophecy. Beginning on December 17th, these titles are found in the Church’s liturgy and are known as the “O” Antiphons.
December 17: O Wisdom or O Sapienta
December 18: O Lord and Ruler or O Adonai
December 19: O Root of Jesse or O Radix Jesse
December 20: O Key of David or O Clavis David
December 21: O Rising Dawn or Morning Star or O Oriens
December 22: O King of the Nations or O Rex Gentium
December 23: O Emmanuel (God-is-With-Us)
If you take the first letter of each of the Messianic titles, from ending to beginning: Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia — they spell out the Latin words ERO CRAS, which means: “Tomorrow, I will come.”
Tomorrow Christ will come.
Do you want him in your life?
Keep each other in prayer!
Sr. Janine Trần Ngọc Vân, CMR
Dòng Đức Mẹ Trinh Vương
* Check out the lyrics to this beautiful Advent hymn: https://www.ocp.org/en-us/songs/285/o-come-o-come-emmanuel
* The sisters and I are having a virtual discernment retreat Thurs, Jan 07 – Sat, Jan 09 (7pm – 9pm CST). Join us! To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org