The Great O Antiphons were traditionally sung before and after the Magnificat at Evensong starting on December 17. They are most familiar to us as they were paraphrased as the hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”The reflections are a gift from the Reverend Canon Leonel L. Mitchell, Th.D. He is the retired professor of liturgics at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and Canon Theologian of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. James, South Bend, IN.
O Adonai – December 18
O Adonai and Leader of the house of Israel, you appeared in the bush to Moses in a flame of fire, and gave him the Law on Sinai. Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.
Adonai is the title read in place of the name YHVH when the Torah is read aloud. the English bible regularly translates it LORD (either in caps or caps and small caps). Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, Moses’ successor.
We are reminded that Moses received the Torah from God on Mt. Sinai . It was in the “sermon on the mount” that the new Joshua delivered the new Torah. It was on Mt. Tabor that Jesus was transfigured, and the apostles saw him in glory with Moses and Elijah. And it was on Mt. Calvary that the New Covenant in the Messiah’s Blood was sealed.
And so we pray, “Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.”