Saturday, December 23, 2006

O Virgo Virginum

December 23:

O Virgin of Virgins, how shall this be? For neither before thee was any like thee, nor shall there be after. Daughters of Jerusalem, why marvel ye at me? That which ye behold is a divine mystery.

This is another very beautiful antiphon, and the last for this year. I don't have the music for it, but it will be sung by Anglicans tomorrow at Vespers, and right after that begins the Vigil of Christmas. As explained at this site,

Each Antiphon begins with "O" and addresses Jesus with a unique title which comes from the prophecies of Isaias and Micheas (Micah), and whose initials, when read backwards, form an acrostic for the Latin "Ero Cras" which means "Tomorrow I come." Those titles for Christ are:

Radix Jesse
Clavis David
Rex Gentium

Merry Christmas to all!


Anonymous said...


What is the source for the printing shown, of the 'O Virgo virginum' chant?


bls said...

I have not found a chant score of this antiphon in Latin anywhere, because the Roman Church doesn't use it and of course Anglicans don't use Latin anymore. I created it myself from the score of another of the O's, using these words.

I will post an English-language version on the 23rd.

RA said...

Actually, it is indeed used by the Roman Church; by my own Order; the Premonstratensians (fonded in 1121) and has always been used in our chant.


for more details.

Br. Rupert O.Praem

bls said...

(See this post for my discussion of the Norbertines.)

Sprezzatura84 said...

This Latin chant is still used in the high Anglican (Anglo-Catholic) tradition, as it's origins are in the Medieval English use.

Note that the acrostic changes from Ero cras to Vero cras (Truly I will come) when O Virgo virginum is added.

A good summary of the O Antiphons is found on the blog of Fr. John Alexander:

Michael said...

For some reason, blogger changes the link that Brother Rupert gave (it did the same thing to me).

The correct link is

bls said...

Thanks, Michael.


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