December 18 starts the last week of Advent and we begin with the "O Antiphons". I have articles of these posted last year. This is such a beautiful devotion to practice just before Christmas. If this is not enough info on it - please refer to the articles written last year during December on the "O Antiphons". Here is an article written by Professor Plinio Correa de Oliveira found on Tradition in Action:
Expectation of Our Lady - December 18
by: Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
December 18 begins the last week of Advent, which the Church calls the Week of Expectation. We are only one week away from the Birth of Our Lord, and the Church imagines the jubilation and hope of Our Lady in expectation of her parturition: she was waiting to admire the Blessed Face of the Son she was generating in her womb.
Our Lady had begged God to hasten the coming of the Messiah, God heard her omnipotent prayer, and the Incarnation in fact was anticipated. She was invited to be the Mother of the Word. She accepted, and conceived the Incarnate Word in her womb. In this last week of her gestation, she is waiting with expectation to see the Face of her Son so that she might have a more profound knowledge of His soul and His full personality.
She also awaits the salvation of the world that approaches. She sees the hour coming when the glory of God will cease to be offended by the legacy of original sin. The Devil’s reign that dominated for more than 4,000 years is drawing to its end. She senses that the Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ is near. Only one week is lacking for the birth of the Word that marks the beginning of the end of the reign of the Devil. It was definitely destroyed when Our Lord was immolated on the Cross and the Redemption was consummated.
These considerations filled the heart of Our Lady with hope. That is why during this period of waiting she is called Our Lady of the Expectation, Our Lady of the Hope or Our Lady of the O!, since on each of the seven days before Christmas there is an antiphon in the liturgy that the Church attributes to her. All of these antiphons begin with the exclamation – O! – and continue with adapted words of the Old Testament that refer to the birth of Our Lord and His Redemption.
These antiphons, called the "Greater Antiphons" or the "O Antiphons," are the following:
Antiphon 1: O Wisdom! Thou came forth from the mouth of the Most High and, reaching from beginning to end, Thou ordered all things mightily and sweetly. Come, and teach us the way of prudence.
Antiphon 2: O Adonai, Ruler of the House of Israel! Thou appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and on Mount Sinai gave him Thy law. Come to redeem us with the strength of Thy arm.
Antiphon 3: O Root of Jesse! Thou stand as a sign for all peoples; before Thee kings shall keep silence and to Thee all nations shall have recourse. Come, save us, and do not delay.
Antiphon 4: O Key of David, Scepter of the House of Israel! Thou doth open and no man closes; Thou doth close and no man opens. Come, and deliver from the chains of prison those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Antiphon 5: O Rising Dawn, Radiance of the Light eternal and Sun of Justice! Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Antiphon 6: O King of the Gentile, the Awaited One of all! Thou are the cornerstone that binds two into one. Come, and save man whom Thou fashioned out of clay.
Antiphon 7: O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Hope and Salvation of the nations! Come and save us, O Lord our God.
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!