Wednesday, December 20, 2006

O Key of David

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Latin translation of O Clavis David
O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel; you open and no one can shut; you shut and no one can open: Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house, those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

Advent Carol
O come, thou Key of David, come, and open wide our heavenly home; make safe the way that leads on hig, and close the path to misery. Rejoice, rejoice. Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

The antiphon today is based on the image of Jesus as the Savior, a reconciler between God and man, who reopens the gates of paradise which were shut after the Fall (see Genesis 3:23-24). The work of the Savior was to release those who were held captive by sin (see Isaiah 42:7). Isaiah had also prophesied of the Messiah that God would "place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open" (Isaiah 22:22). And that, "His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onwards and for evermore" (Isaiah 9:7).

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