December 23: O Emmanuel


O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster.


O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Expected of the Nations and their Saviour, come to save us, O Lord our God.

The final O Antiphon refers to Christ as Emmanuel, “God with us” and lawgiver. Here we see two passages from the prophet Isaiah: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his [Emmanuel]” (Isaiah 7:14) and “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he it is who will save us” (Isaiah 33:22). In this antiphon we see the fulfillment of all of our expectation this Advent season: God comes to dwell with his people in the flesh.

Let us pray:

Almighty ever-living God,
as we see how the Nativity of your Son
according to the flesh draws near,
we pray that to us, your unworthy servants,
mercy may flow from your Word,
who chose to become flesh of the Virgin Mary
and establish among us his dwelling,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.1

(1) See: Roman Missal, Collect December 23.