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Echoes from the Bell Tower, a podcast devoted to stories of wit and wisdom from the monks of Saint Meinrad.

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O Advent, We Await Your Antiphons

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Read the full transcript of this preview

Gregorian chant has a long and rich history. This "preview" podcast episode, from our upcoming Season Two of Echoes from the Bell Tower, uncovers some of the chant tradition.

Some of the most beautiful chant music is heard at this time of year - Advent. In the Christian faith, Advent is the four weeks of waiting and preparing for the celebration of Christmas. The chant sung during this season reflects those feelings of longing and hoping.

Podcast hosts Br. Joel Blaize, OSB, and Br. Kolbe Wolniakowski, OSB, ask the chant experts at Saint Meinrad - namely, Fr. Columba Kelly, Fr. Harry Hagan and Fr. Jeremy King - to talk about the chant tradition and how chant is used during Advent.

One distinctive aspect of Advent is that the "O Antiphons" are sung at Vespers during each of the seven days before Christmas Eve. Each antiphon begins with "O," followed by a title of Christ, such as "O Wisdom" or "O Root of Jesse."

Br. Kolbe explains that the first letters of those titles (in Latin), beginning with the last title, form an acrostic, Ero Cras, which translates to "I will be tomorrow."


Here is a podcast extra to enjoy:

You can find the O Antiphons sung by Saint Meinrad monks at this playlist on YouTube: