Greater O Antiphons
Each of the seven antiphons begins by addressing Jesus using an Old Testament title for the Messiah. These seven names or titles, all from the Book of Isaiah, are:
Dec. 17, O’ Sapientia (meaning O Wisdom), from Isaiah 11:2-3.
Dec. 18, O’ Adonai (O Lord or Ruler), 11:4-5 and 33:22.
Dec. 19, O’ Radix (O Root of Jesse), 11:1.
Dec. 20, O’ Clavis (O Key of David), 22:22.
Dec. 21, O’ Oriens (O Radiant Dawn), 9:1.
Dec. 22, O’ Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), 2:4.
Dec. 23, O’ Emmanuel (O God with Us), 7:14.
O Wisdom (O Sapienta): O Wisdom, you came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and reaching from beginning to end, you ordered all things mightily and sweetly. Come, and teach us the way of prudence.
Symbols: Oil lamp, open book, dove (Holy Spirit).
O Lord and Ruler (O Adonai): O Lord and Ruler of the house of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush, and on Mount Sinai gave him your Law. Come, and with outstretched arm redeem us.
Symbols: Burning bush, stone tablets
O Root of Jesse (O Radix Jesse): O Root of Jesse, you stand for the ensign of all mankind; before you kings shall keep silence and to you all nations shall have recourse. Come, save us, and do not delay.
Symbols: flower, plant with flower, root with flowering stem
O Key of David (O Clavis David) O Key of David, Scepter of the house of Israel, you open and no man closes; you close and no man opens. Come, and deliver him from the chains of prison who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Symbols: Key, broken chains
O King of the Gentiles or Nations (O Rex Gentium): O King of the Gentiles, Desired of all, you are the cornerstone that binds two into one. Come, and save poor man whom you fashion out of clay.
Symbols: Crown and scepter; cornerstone
This day doesn’t have an official O Antiphon in the Liturgy, because the Evening Prayer or Vespers is actually Evening Prayer I which is the beginning of Christmas. There are old traditions in some religious orders that include a final antiphon to Mary for Christmas Eve:
O Virgin of Virgins (O Virgo Virginum): O Virgin of virgins, how shall this be? For neither before you was any like you, nor shall there be after. Daughters of Jerusalem, why do you marvel at me? What you behold is a divine mystery!
Symbols: lily or fleur-de-lis.