17 December 2008

The O antiphons

The O antiphons are a set of short prayers traditionally sung before and after the Magnificat during the week before Christmas. The antiphons are based on seven scriptural titles of the Messiah and gradually build up a picture of the one who is to come.

This year they were the theme of our diocesan Advent quiet day and it occurred to me that I could use this blog to make some of my notes for the quiet day available during the period when the antiphons would normally be in use. If time permits, I plan to post one each day between now and Christmas Eve.

It is also an opportunity to share a series of thought-provoking poems written by Malcolm Guite reflecting on the antiphons. Malcolm is Chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge. He is also a poet, rock musician, biker and expert on Dante. You can find out more about him and his work at his website.

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