Resources for Advent: The O Antiphons
The O Antiphons
Traditionally, the Magnificat, the song of Mary, is sung or said every day at Evening Prayer (just as the Benedictus, Zechariah’s song, is associated with Morning Prayer and Simeon’s Song is linked with Compline). During the last week before Christmas, there are a special little group of prayers called antiphons that you can use to wrap around the Magnificat if you pray Evening Prayer.
These are called the O Antiphons, because they all begin with “O”. If you pray Evening Prayer, try this: after the reading from Scripture, say the antiphon, and then pray the Magnificat which is on the right, and then say the antiphon again. Even if you don’t pray all of Evening Prayer, maybe you can simply prepare for Christmas by praying the antiphons all by themselves.
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My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.