To You we look, Lord Jesus, as we humbly await your coming at Christmas and pray:
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart;
O Keystone of the mighty arch of man:
Come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.
For today’s O Antiphon, we draw on these texts from scripture: Isaiah 2:4; 11:10; Psalm 47:8; Jeremiah 10:7; Daniel 7:14; Haggai 2:8; Romans 15:12; Ephesians 2:14, 20
The O Antiphons are part of a thousand-year-old liturgical tradition, as explained by Felix Just, S.J., in an article on the Roman Catholic Lectionary Website:
They have long been used at the very end of Advent (Dec. 17-23) in the liturgical prayer of the Church, as Antiphons for the “Magnificat” sung or recited during Vespers (the Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours). Since the Second Vatican Council, they have also been adapted (slightly reworded and rearranged) for the “Alleluia Verse” of the Mass (the short scriptural text or paraphrase that immediately precedes the Gospel reading). Each Antiphon invokes the coming of the Messiah, beginning with a biblical title and closing with a specific petition.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy One.