About the O Antiphons:

The COS O Antiphons Advent service makes use of a series of medieval prayers referred to as the O Antiphons. They were composed for use in evening prayer services on the last seven days of Advent. They are best known to us as the seven verses of the advent hymn, O Come, O Come Emmanuel. Each antiphon is a petition for Christ to come, addressing the Messiah with a title from Old Testament prophecies. In reverse order, the seven titles in Latin (Sapientia, Adonai, Radix Jesse, Clavis David, Oriens, Rex Gentium, and Emmanuel) form an acrostic, ERO CRAS. This is interpreted as Christ’s response to the faithful who have called upon him during the week: “Tomorrow I shall be there.”

With a montage of haunting biblical images of creation, redemption, and ultimate restoration they remind us that Christ, whose glorious return we anticipate and patiently await during Advent, is surrounding and sustaining us already. He is truly Emmanuel, “God among us.”

Our service will feature visual artwork created by COS artists and poetry or spoken reflections for each antiphon. The service will also include scripture, prayer, music, and time for silent meditation.

Be part of the service:

In anticipation of this year’s service, we invite members of the congregation to contribute artwork for our worship. If you would like to contribute artwork for this year’s service, please contact Maria Stapert, COS Minister of Worship. Artwork is not limited to paintings nor limited to professional artists.

To help get a sense of the visuals that can accompany the service, and to learn more about the O Antiphons, we encourage you to explore some of the resources below: