O Sapientia

The “O Antiphons”, a collection of antiphons sung with the Magnificat at Vespers from 17 to 23 December in the Roman Rite, date back at least to the reign of Charlemagne, and there is an English poem based on them by Cynewulf (fl. 8th century). The well-known Advent hymn, “O come, O come, Emmanuel” (Veni, veni, Emanuel), is a metrical text based on the antiphons.

The initial letters of the antiphons,

ignoring the ‘O’, spell out the reverse acrostic, ‘SARCORE’ – ‘ero cras’, ‘I shall be [with you] tomorrow’, a hidden counterpart of the joyful iteration of ‘cras’ which rings like a bell through the liturgy of the last week of Advent.

(The New Oxford Book of Carols, ed. Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott, p. 45)

For December 17

O Sapientia,
quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter,
suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom,
who proceeds from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching out mightily from end to end,
and sweetly arranging all things:
come to teach us the way of prudence.

Incipit from the Wisdom of Solomon (Codex Gigax)

(English translations of the Latin taken from the Dominican Life website.)

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “O Sapientia

  1. That is the correct weblog for anybody who
    wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost exhausting
    to argue with you (not that I really would want…HaHa).
    You positively put a new spin on a subject thats been
    written about for years. Great stuff, simply
    nice!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s