The Great O Antiphons – O Rex gentium

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 Rex gentiumDecember 22
O King of the Nations, and their Desire, you are the cornerstone who makes us both one: Come and save the creature you fashioned from clay.

As we look out on a world torn by strife and a Church divided into competing denominations, shouts of heresy and overt acts of schism, we send up our fervent entreaty to Christ the King of kings and Lord of lords, to save us–the creatures the Divine hand has fashioned out of clay. We are God’s building, and Christ is the cornerstone. We are just the bricks, not the architects. It is Christ who makes us one, not only one with the Godly, but one with those @#$%&#@s who call us “the enemy.” It is wondrous indeed that Christ does not give up on us or them. but says, “Little children, love one another.” Come and save the creature you fashioned out of clay.