There are two parts to Advent, the final part beginning on December 17 and ending on Christmas. On these days the antiphon for the Magnificat in Evening Prayer addresses Christ with the seven Messianic titles. Sometimes this second part of Advent is called the “Golden Nights.”
The O Antiphons have been around since the fourth century. The monks had a custom of enjoying certain treats on each day. For example, on the day of Root of Jesse, they would have some kind of treat made from a root. O Rising Sun was the day to serve oranges. On the Key of David day the monk in charge of the wine cellar used the key to the wine cellar to serve fine wine.
The O Antiphons are lined up chronologically with the oldest Messianic title first. They are Sapientia (Wisdom), Adonai (Leader), Radix (Root), Clavis (Key), Oriens (East or Dawn), Rex (King), and Emmanuel (God-with-us). We start with Wisdom, the Holy Spirit, who was there are the creation of the world. Then we dramatically climb through history until the birth of Christ in approximately 4-7 B.C.
When you line up the titles backwards, the first letter spells Ero cras, which means “Tomorrow I will come.”
Let Advent be the time for O–O-O- and Christmas for Ho-Ho-Ho!