O Antiphons

A Christian tradition to proclaim the arrival of the Messiah in the world and in our hearts is to say the “O Antiphons” during the days leading to Christmas Day. Each Antiphon begins by proclaiming the names of our Messiah found in the Old Testament—Wisdom, Lord, Root of Jesse, Key of David, Radiant Dawn, King of Nations and Emmanuel. The names remind us of the rich blessings of our Savior to the world. You are invited to say the antiphon before your evening meal. It is a particularly rich ritual to say with children. After saying the “O Antiphon” ask your children what the name might mean.

Below are the “O Antiphons.”  You can also download a PDF version here: O Antiphons.
(The images below are by Look and Learn Catholic Visuals, which has beautiful Advent and Christmas family resources.)

O WisdomDecember 17
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!


O Lord December 18
O Lord and ruler of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!


RootDecember 19
O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!


KeyDecember 20
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!


RadiantDawnDecember 21
O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.


 KingDecember 22
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!



EmmanuelDecember 23
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!
come to save us, Lord our God!