Tuesday, December 21, 2010

O Antiphons!

I LOVE being Catholic! The Advent Season for Catholics is so incredibly rich in tradition and symbolism. I am grateful that I have a lifetime to truly uncover the richness of this season, because I know that I still have so much to learn!

One of my favorite Christmas Hymns has always been, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel." The verses of the song, echo the prophesies in the book of Isaiah that foretell of Christ's coming. I love that each verse ends with a joyful, "Gaude! Gaude!" (Rejoice! Rejoice!) because Emmanuel has truly come to the waiting Israel.

Over at Catholic Culture there is a good summary of what are known as the "O Antiphons," which are sung or prayed during the final days before Christmas. This year, I was finally able to make our own version of the "O Antiphon House." I have been wanting to do this or the past few years, I am incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to do it this year. So far, this has gone over much better than what I had expected! Rose and Sam LOVE this. It is a wonderful visual work that encourages great questions! Here are a few photos of what we have done:

1) Today we are on "O Oriens," which is why most of the boxes are already open. I used an unfinished photo frame and spray painted it gold (with a little glitter for sparkle) and then I found seven little cardboard boxes and spray painted them gold and glued them onto the frame. On the inside of each box, is the image for the day which corresponds to the Antiphon. Each box top has a wooden star painted gold, and on the underside of the lid, is a wooden letter that stands for the Antiphon. I punched a small hole in the top of each lid and attached a gold ribbon to it, so we could hang the box lids up after they were opened.

2) When the box is open for the day, there is a small "scroll" that has the prophesy and the Antiphon inside.

3) At the end, "ERO CRAS" will be spelled out which means, "Tomorrow I will come." This is what it will look like, after all of the boxes are opened:


M. T. said...

Amazing! I love it!!

Mara said...

Jessica, this is beautiful. I've actually never seen anything like it before!

I've been working on an Advent calendar for our family, as well - it incorporates both the Jesse tree symbols as well as the O Antiphons. I wasn't able to finish it this year but Nicholas has really enjoyed picking items from the pockets and listening to the corresponding Scripture verses. I'll try to share pictures of it soon!

Anonymous said...


Abbey @ Surviving Our Blessings said...

This is such a cool idea. I have seen the idea for an O Antiphons house before, but I haven't been able to picture how I would do it. Your post gives me an idea of how it could work. Thank you for sharing!

Abbey @ Surviving Our Blessings

Educating our Time said...

Neat idea! Thanks for sharing!