The O Antiphons
The O Antiphons are musical settings of seven names or phrases that describe the coming Messiah. On November 11, we sang of Wisdom. This Sunday, we sing about God of Might. In the coming weeks we will sing about the Branch of Jesse, the Key of David, the Dayspring, the King of Nations, and Emmanuel. We're singing these verses to the tune
Veni Emmanuel, which is a French processional song that dates to the 15th century. We know it best as the beloved Advent hymn,
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. We'll sing one verse each week leading up to Christmas.
This being my first year at Good Shepherd, I'm learning the rhythms and traditions of this congregation. I'm also giving myself some challenges as we plan and prepare for worship. When Pastor Tim mentioned to me that we would live with these O Antiphons for the seven weeks leading up to Christmas, I wondered how we might make each week special and unique.
I've amassed a pretty large collection of organ and piano music over the years. (Anyone who helped me move will attest to this fact.) As I started looking at music for Advent, I realized how many different settings of
Veni Emmanuel I have. It turns out we can hear a different setting each Sunday. So one of the challenges I've given myself is to play a different arrangement of
Veni Emmanuel each week. Last week, we heard a piano setting by David Lanz from his collection
Christmas Eve. In future weeks, we'll hear other arrangements.
Thanks, everyone, for your partnership in the musical and worship life of Good Shepherd. I invite comments and conversation any time, and I'd love to meet up for a Diet Coke if you ever want to talk!
John D. Jahr