Monday, December 06, 2010

O Antiphon #1 - O Sapientia is the first of the seven "Great O Antiphons" The Gathering is composing for Advent 2010.  I have composed the first three.  Carl Nystedt will compose #4, and #6.  Jonathan Meharry will be composing #5, and Jodi Ainsworth will be composing #7.

The "O Antiphons" are medieval chants or recitations which cover the days preceding Christmas Eve - the 17th through the 23rd of December.  Each recitation covers an aspect of the Person of Christ.

These are the "Great O Antiphons" in one English translation below.  We have used this as a guide for creating our music, and there may be some minor variation on the lyrics to fit the music.  The "O" will be emphasized in triplicate in each song in typical trinitarian respect.  The reason for emphasizing the word "O" is that it is a unique word, which does not represent anything except the expression of emotion.  O is not a thing.  O is not an action.  You can not buy an "O" at the store, or go out "Oing" on a Friday Night.  (Though both those actions may cause you to come home Owing money.)  The scriptures have Os.  Jesus pronounces them with the use of the Greek Letter omicron, and this seems to highlight the fact that there just might be a place for the expression of pure emotion in our worship, without a direct intellectual attachment.

These "Great O Antiphons" highlight that expression of emotion, but connect that wonder to aspects of the character of Christ.

We began six weeks before Christmas, and will learn a new "O Antiphon" each week, learning two of them on the fifth week.

O Sapientia (Is. 11:2-3; 28:29): "O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High. You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle wary. O Wisdom, now come to teach us the way of truth."

O Adonai (Is. 11:4-5; 33:22): "O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave him the Law on the Holy Mount. O come and save us with your mighty power."

O Radix Jesse (Is. 11:1, 10): "O stock of Jesse, you stand as a signal for the nations; kings fall silent before you whom the people acclaim. O come to deliver us, and do not delay."

O Clavis David (Is. 9:6; 22:22): "O key of David and scepter of Israel, what you open no one else can close again; what you close no one can open. O come to lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death."

O Oriens (Is. 9:1): "O Rising Sun, you are the splendor of eternal light and the sun of justice. O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death."

O Rex Gentium (Is. 2:4; 9:5): "O King whom all the peoples desire, you are the cornerstone which makes all one. O come and save man whom you made from clay."

O Emmanuel (Is. 7:14) : "O Emmanuel, you are our king and judge, the One whom the peoples await and their Savior. O come and save us, Lord, our God."

Here is "O Antiphon" #1 "O Sapientia" or "O Wisdom."  It references Christ as the Wisdom of God.

I wrote this antiphon with this in mind:  The search for wisdom is often our hunt for resolution in the struggles of life.  The first note of the "O" is a dissonant note moving to resolution just like our hunt for wisdom is the search for resolution in the struggles of life.

In this post you are getting the first recording of the Antiphon as it was sent out to the other musicians of The Gathering.

This is part of an Advent Synchroblog.  For the other posts which are a part of this series see the Synchroblog Wordpress Blog.

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