Two years ago, my good friend Chuck Meyer and I were invited to be a part of a group of student composers at Wartburg Theological Seminary writing musical settings for the O Antiphons. These antiphons are traditionally used in vespers services the last seven days of Advent. Each of the seven antiphons focus on a name or description of Christ given in the Bible.
O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from one end to the other mightily, and sweetly ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of prudence.
O Adonai and ruler of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave us the Law on Sinai. Come with an outstretched arm and redeem us.
O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples; before you kings will shut their mouths, to you the nations will make their prayer: Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.
O Key of David and scepter of the house of Israel, you open and no one can close, you close and no one can open. Come and rescue the prisoners, those who are in darkness and the shadow of death.
O Rising Sun, splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness: Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
O King of the nations, the ruler they long for, the cornerstone uniting all people: Come and save us, whom you formed out of clay.