O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
The antiphon today is O Clavis David (O Key of David), our plea to be liberated from the prison of our sins, both in this life and in the life to come.
O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel; qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit; veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
O Key of David, and Scepter of the house of Israel,
that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth,
come to liberate the prisoner from the prison,
and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.
Duccio di Buoninsegna, The Descent Into Hell, c1308. Museo del Opera del Duomo, Siena.
Christ as the Key, opening the prison of Hell. King David stands on the right, waiting his turn to be handed out by his Descendant.