Including the O Antiphons during Advent

Dec 14, 2018 5:00:00 PM

We've recently received several requests from our customers about including The Great O Antiphons of Advent in Lutheran Service Builder. Knowing that they start on December 17th, our team hustled and added them just in time.

When Are the O Antiphons Used in Worship?

In the foreword to his collection The Great O Antiphons of Advent, Healey Willan offered the following suggestions for incorporating the O Antiphons into worship during the season of Advent:

The Great O Antiphons of Advent may be used in several ways. They may be sung as originally intended, namely, as antiphons upon the canticle Magnificat in vesper services beginning on December 17, or they may be used as antiphons for the canticles Benedictus and Nunc Dimittis during Advent. In addition they may be used as seasonal liturgical pieces, that is, as “anthems” in the modern sense at any time during Advent.

There is also another way of using these antiphons effectively. During Advent many churches conduct special services. A devotion based on the O Antiphons within the framework of historic vespers will do much to counteract the tendency of many to celebrate the festival of Christmas during the season of Advent.

You can learn more about The Great O Antiphons of Advent on the CPH Music Blog.

How to Add the O Antiphons in Lutheran Service Builder

While the O Antiphons are traditionally used before the Magnificat in Vespers or Evening, this process works where you would like to use them.

  1. On the Bulletin view, click Insert, then Element. This will pull up the list of Common Elements in the search menu.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom into the section titled "The Great 'O' Antiphons." You can also search by typing "December."
  3. Select the appropriate antiphon, such as December 17: O Wisdom
  4. Add or remove the pointing or include a Psalm Tone.

If you have any trouble with this process, please contact our software support team at or (800) 346-6120.

Peter Frank

Written by Peter Frank

Peter Frank is full-time student at Concordia Seminary who also serves part-time at Concordia Publishing House as the Digital Product Owner. His responsibilities include leading Concordia Technology Solutions (CTS), the church management software division. A graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin, his background in theology, business, and technology gives him a unique perspective on technology in the church. He is married and the father of two young children.

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