Monday, December 16, 2013

Celebrating the O Antiphons~ Resources for Simple and Meaningful Activities

Welcome, friends!
Can I tell how much we loooooooove the 
Great O Antiphon days here in my home?
The series of very special days which is so close to
 Christmas and so rich in liturgical history is simply electric....
brimming with anticipation, isn't it?
We simply adore easing right into our O Antiphons, 
which light up the calendar from
the 17th through the 24th  following my 
son's birthday on  the 16th.
 The celebratory feel continues to swell as we prepare
 our hearts for the birth of our Savior.
My birthday boy could not love having a Christmastime birthday 
anymore than he already does.
The O Antiphons add to that love of the season.
He's never had a  day-after-birthday-let-down and
I believe the Great O Antiphons are the reason.

What are the Great O Antiphons? 
Despite having been educated in Catholic schools from 
grade 1 through and including graduate school,
I only learned of the O Antiphons,
the seven "jewels" of our liturgical year, recently.
They are beautiful, fascinating and unique.
And here's why.~
 1. Each day addresses our Lord with 7 titles based upon Old Testament prophecies. Here is each Latin title with its divine English translation. ~
O Sapiens~ Wisdom
O Adonai ~ Sacred Lord
O Radix ~ Root of Jesse
O Clavix David ~ Key of David
O Oriens ~ Rising Sun
O Rex Gentium ~ King of all Nations
O Emmanuel 

2. Unbelievably,  the Latin titles when spelled out  backwards:
translate to~ 
Tomorrow I come!

3. The tradition of the Great O Antiphons dates back, some say, four hundred years and each title is represented in the powerful and popular Christmas hymn, "O Come, O Come, Emmauel." For more historical info on the Great O Antiphons, you might like to visit Catholic  and Catholic

A few of my family's Great O Antiphons Traditions:
1. My series of blog posts  from Advent 2012 outlines our family's activities for each day of the Antiphons. Perhaps you'd like to take a peek and see if any suit you to adapt in your own home?

The photos of our O Antiphon studies, prayers and fun, actually, are described in my posts, above and include rosary making, lapbooking and some coloring fun.:

3. Additional books we enjoy around the Great O Antiphons:
There is nothing better than the historical fiction of these titles by Arnold Ytreeide for this liturgical season. We've read  these every Advent for the past several years. They bring to life the Biblical characters of the time during which our Savior was born. Further, the connection between the events in the books, the symbols on our Jesse Tree and the Messianic titles of the O Antiphons  becomes even more clear each time we immerse ourselves in them. It's really very exciting! Here they are:

4. Jesse Tree~ Each day of the Great O Antiphons,  we continue our Jesse Tree traditions. Most of our regular schoolwork is on hold at this point in December until the new year arrives; so our focus is primarily Advent activities. We're able to spend a good part of each afternoon  exploring and discussing the literature and creating our Jesse Tree ornaments. 

Our Jesse Tree, 2011~~ 

Here's our progress so far, below, on the Jesse Tree 2013, as well
as our Advent basket, which contains:

* each boy's "Jesse Tree kit,"
(scissor, printed copies of each ornament,
 ribbon for ornament hanging, colored pencils and
 hole puncher in a gallon size ziploc bag)
*The Jesse Tree by MacCaughrean
*both advent books above

5.  Music for the Great O Antiphons~
 Liturgical Time walking shared a phenomenal  music video of the classic and oh-so-fitting,
O Come O Come Emmanuel  which I know will become a family favorite! Thank you, Michelle!

 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!
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Until next time,


...and BTW:


Post dividers and general cutesies,
courtesy of Shabby Blogs 


  1. Great thorough post Chris! I'm just now getting the "lightbulb" moment to work on incorporating the O Antiphons into our Advent traditions :) I did a brief post about the O Antiphons, mostly about how I don't know much about them or haven't paid attention to them! Anyway, baby steps right? :) Have a blessed rest of Advent!

    1. Oh my gosh, me too, Tracy!
      I never heard of the Great O Antiphons until just a few years ago and I;ve been fascinated by their history. I so love how hte lit ties in with our advent traditions as well.

      Tracy, thanks so much for stopping in!
      Always love your visits!


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