Artwork by the Benedictine Sisters of Turvey Abbey
December 20th: 'O Key of David, and sceptre
of the house of Israel, who open and none may close, who close and none may
open, come and bring out of prison the captive who sits in darkness and the
shadow of death.'
'O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel:
qui aperia, et nemo claudit; claudis. et nemo aperit:
veni, et edu vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris et umbra mortis.'
The text is based on Revelation 3:7, recalling Isaiah 22:20-22 and 42:7. For
the Jewish people the key or sceptre of David was depicted as a 6-pointed star,
which was a symbol of God and of the Messiah. A clear reference of this is
found in Numeri 24:17, and in the star which led the Magi to Bethlehem (Matthew
The key, the sceptre, the star is Christ who through his death and resurrection
opened the gates of hell. The banner is based on the Eastern 'Anastasis',
showing Christ victoriously rising from the tomb, trampling the gates of death
underfoot and pulling Adam and Eve out of their graves, and with them the whole
The O Antiphons are a highlight of the
Church's Advent Liturgy: from December 17th - 23rd they frame the Magnificat at
Rich in symbolism and meaning they take us right from the
beginning of creation, through the centuries of the world's waiting for the
promised Messiah, calling upon him who was hidden in signs and symbols, and
revealed when the fullness of time had come, leading us to the Mystery of the
Incarnation and beyond, to the Paschal Mystery, the coming of the Holy Spirit
and the Parousia (Christ's second coming).
The exact origin of the Latin texts is unknown. They may
date from the sixth century. There is evidence to suggest that the texts were
in liturgical use in Rome in the eighth century. Both the original Latin texts
and an English translation are given here.
Arriving at the 7th Antiphon on December 23rd, we may
discover that the letters of the Latin invocations, read from the last up to
the first, form a wonderful acrostic (ERO CRAS), like God's answer to our
Dec. 17: Sapienta (O Wisdom)
Dec. 18: Adonai (O Adonai [Lord])
Dec. 19: Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
Dec. 20: Clavis David (O Key of David)
Dec. 21: Oriens (O Rising Sun)
Dec. 22: Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)
Dec. 23: Emmanuel (O Emmanuel)
CRAS: I WILL BE HERE TOMORROW
O Wonderful Exchange (Antiphon from the Greek Liturgy "O
Wonderful Exchange! The Creator of the human race took to himself a human body
and was born of a virgin, and becoming man he granted us divinity.")
Will it fit my lectern?
Frontals come with cord locks that enable you to adjust the hanging height and
width for most free-standing lecterns. Frontals hang below and tie around the
lectern’s front projection. If you are unsure whether our frontals will fit
your lectern, please contact us and we will advise you.
Important, please check before ordering:
The sloping book rest should have a front projection of at least 5cm.
Fabric, materials and production:
Polyester (natural-feel material).
wood rods (top and bottom) and end caps and gold effect draw cord and cord
retardant: BS5867/Type B DIN4102
sample of the material can be supplied upon request.
View all our Lectern Frontals here.