The Antiphons of Advent

"I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder." (Isaiah 22:22)

Antiphon for December 20



O Key of David and Scepter of the House of Israel; you open and no man closes; you close and no man opens.  Come, and deliver from the chains of prison those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Isaiah 22:22: "I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder. When he opens, no one shall shut; when he shuts, no one shall open.

Revelation 3:7: "To the presiding spirit of the church in Philadelphia write this: 'The holy One, the true, who wields David's key, who opens and no one can close, who closes and  no one can open'".

Isaiah 42:6-7: "I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon those who live in darkness".

The key and scepter are traditional symbols of kingly power and authority. Christ, the anointed one, is the heir of David and possessor of the kingdom. Jesus himself also made use of this symbol, showing the propheticrelationship of the earthly kingdom of David to the kingdom of God.  All power and authority was given to him after the resurrection, and he entrusted this power to "bind and to loose" to Peter and the ministers of his church.

In the closing petition we look to Jesus to unlock the fetters of sin that  keepus s tightly chained.  It is he who frees us from our captivity.  We recall the deliverance proclaimed by the psalmist of old: "they dwelt in darkness and gloom, bondsmen in want and in chains,...and he led them forth fromdarkness and gloom and broke their bonds asunder" (Psalm 107: 10, 14).

(c) 2000 Jeanne Kun

The O Antiphons 

The root of Jesse 
(c) 1997 print by Jeanne Kun

 
 
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