Catholic Church  •  Rootstown, Ohio

Mass Times

Tuesday - Friday: 8:30 am

Saturday: 4:00 pm

Sunday: 10:00 am

Holy Days: 8:30 am, 7:00 pm


2nd & 4th Saturdays: 3:15 pm, or by appointment.

Household of God

The O Antiphons

The "O Antiphons" refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceded the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, December 17-23, with December 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil.

The exact origin of the "O Antiphons" is not known. Boethius (c. 480-524) made a slight reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time. At the Benedictine abbey of Fleury (now Saint-Benoit-sur- Loire), these antiphons were recited by the abbot and other abbey leaders in descending rank, and then a gift was given to each member of the community. By the eighth century they were in use in the liturgical celebrations in Rome. The usage of the "O Antiphons" was so prevalent in monasteries that the phrases, "Keep you O" and "The Great O Antiphons" were common parlance. One may thereby conclude that in some fashion the "O Antiphons" have been part of our liturgical traditions since the very early Church.

The importance of "O Antiphons" is twofold: Each one highlights a title for the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis Davis (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel. Also, each one refers to the prophecy of Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah.

O Sapientia: "Oh Wisdom, You came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and reach from one end of the earth to the other, mightily and sweetly ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of prudence."

O Adonai: "O Lord of the house of Israel, You appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush; on Mount Sinai You gave him Your law; with outstretched arm: Come and redeem us."

O Radix Jesse: "O Root of Jesse, You stand as an sign to the people; before You Kings shall keep silence, all nations bow in worship: Come and save us, and do not delay."

O Clavis David: "O Key of David, and Scepter of the house of Israel: Come and deliver us from the chains of prison, we who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death."

O Oriens: "O Radiant Dawn, brightness of the light eternal, sun of righteousness: Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death."

O Rex Gentium: O King of nations, You are the Cornerstone that binds two into one: Come and save the creatures whom you have fashioned from clay.

O Emmanuel, the Desire of all nations and their Salvation: Come and save us, O Lord our God."

Peace — Father David