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O Antiphons | December 17 - 23

In joyful anticipation of the coming birth of Christ, Catholics have said or sung O Antiphons since the eighth century. For seven days beginning December 17, the verses are read before the Magnificat during evening prayer or before the gospel at Mass. Originally written in Latin and taken from the Old Testament — namely, Isaiah, each verse begins by addressing Jesus using an Old Testament title (Emmanuel, Rex Gentium, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia). Togther, the first letter of each title form the Latin phrase ERO CRAS, which means “I shall come tomorrow.”