The Advent Tower, the O Antiphons

Author: Elsa Chaney


The Advent Tower is meant to be used at family Advent devotions on the last seven days before Christmas. The seven windows in the tower mask seven symbols of Christ, each of which is the theme of one of the seven "O Antiphons."

The "O's" of Advent are the great gems of liturgical song which are sung each evening at the "Magnificat" at Vespers, from December 17 to December 23. Addressing Christ with seven magnificent titles, they beg Him with mounting impatience to come to save His people. The window in the roof of the tower masks the Christmas scene, and should be opened on Christmas Eve.

The "Twelve Days of Christmas" book contains a Christmas Novena during which the windows in the Advent Tower are opened. But the windows may also be opened very simply with the reading of the appropriate antiphon, and the praying of the "Magnificat."


Dec. 17--O WISDOM, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly--

COME! and teach us the way of prudence.

Dec. 18--O LORD AND GIVER of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush, and gave him the law on Sinai--

COME! and redeem us with outstretched arm.

Dec. 19--O ROOT OF JESSE, who stands for an ensign of the people, before whom kings shall keep silence, and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication--

COME! to deliver us, and tarry not.

Dec. 20--O KEY OF DAVID, and Sceptre of the House of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts, and no man opens--

COME! and bring forth the captive from his prison, he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Dec. 21--O DAWN OF THE EAST, brightness of the light eternal, and Sun of Justice-

COME! and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Dec. 22--O KING OF THE GENTILES and their desired One, the Cornerstone that makes both one--

COME! and deliver man, whom You formed out of the dust of the earth.

Dec. 23--O EMMANUEL, our King and Lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Savior--

COME! to save us, O Lord our God.