Stained Glass Fit for a Revolving Door

I have shared a picture of this stained glass window before, but I thought it deserved a more thorough look:





This window is on display at the LC-MS International Center. It used to be located above the revolving glass door at their former location closer to downtown St. Louis. I love the unique shape and the “O Antiphons” from “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!”

December 23–“O” Antiphons Night Seven

O Emmanuel (O God with Us)

O Emmanuel, our king and our Lord,
the anointed for the nations and their Savior:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.


“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” verse one:

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

December 22–“O” Antiphons Night Six

O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)

O King of the nations, the ruler they long for,
the cornerstone uniting all people:
Come and save us all,
whom You formed out of clay.


“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” verse seven:

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

December 21–“O” Antiphons Night Five

O Oriens (O Dayspring)

O Dayspring, splendor of light everlasting:
Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death.


“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” verse six:

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

December 20–“O” Antiphons Night Four

O Clavis David (O Key of David)

O Key of David and scepter of the house of Israel,
You open and no one can close,
You close and no one can open:
Come and rescue the prisoners who are in darkness
and the shadow of death.


“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” verse five:

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heav’nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

December 19–“O” Antiphons Night Three

O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)

O Root of Jesse, standing as an ensign before the peoples,
before whom all kings are mute,
to whom the nations will do homage:
Come quickly to deliver us.


“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” verse four:

O come, Thou Branch of Jesse’s tree,
Free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust Thy mighty pow’r to save,
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

December 18–“O” Antiphons Night Two

O Adonai (O Lord)

O Adonai and ruler of the house of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the burning bush
and gave him the Law on Sinai:
Come with an outstretched arm and redeem us.


“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” verse three:

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times didst give the Law
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

December 17–“O” Antiphons Night One

O Sapientia (O Wisdom)

O Wisdom, proceeding from the mouth of the Most High,
pervading and permeating all creation,
mightily ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.


“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” verse two:

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who ord’rest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

The Great “O” Antiphons

Tomorrow night marks the beginning of the Great “O” Antiphon readings, which mark the last seven days of Advent, leading up to Christmas Eve.

This is a new addition to our Advent routine this year, and I’m really looking forward to it. We’ll be adding an ornament that corresponds with the night’s antiphon to our Jesse Tree each evening during our Advent wreath/prayer time.

The O Antiphons have been in use for at least the last 1500 years. They’re often found as part of a Vespers service, and also match up with the verses of the Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” Each Antiphon is one of the names of Christ found in the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah in Scripture:

If you look at the Latin title of each antiphon, and arrange them in an acrostic, starting with the last one, and working backward to the beginning (Emmanuel, Rex Gentium, Oriens, Clavis, Radix Jesse, Adonai, Sapientia), they spell out the Latin phrase “Ero Cras,” which means “Tomorrow I will come.” Very appropriate for the end of Advent, and for our hopes of the return of our Lord!