Category Archives: Music Ministry

O Thou Key of David

Dr. Mark Ardrey-Graves will offer a single-session class, O Thou Key of David: Unlocking the Secrets of the Great “O” Antiphons at 10:15 a.m. on December 9 in Colhoun A.

Have you ever wondered why we sing the Advent Hymn “O come, O come, Emmanuel” every Sunday during Advent every year? Have you ever wondered why it has so many stanzas? What’s with all of these images, names, and metaphors? This beloved Advent hymn (#56 in the Hymnal 1982), it turns out, is an adaptation of the so-called “O Antiphons,” which are among the most ancient liturgical prayers in Christianity, grounded in the Old Testament Book of Isaiah. Mark’s class will dig into the origins, history and purpose of these Antiphons, how they have been prayed and sung over the past 1,500 years, and how they continue to speak to us today.