Saturday, December 17, 2022

The Great O Antiphons, The Golden Nights


Ever since our oldest children were very little, we have been implementing an old monastic custom in our home by providing special treats, representing each of the "O Antiphons" on the days leading up to Christmas. The O Antiphon prayers begin on December 17th and end on the 23rd, which is the last Vespers of Advent, since the evening prayer on the 24th is the Vigil of Christmas.
The Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one - Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia - the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” Therefore, the Lord Jesus, whose coming we have prepared for in Advent and whom we have addressed in these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to us, “Tomorrow, I will come.” So the “O Antiphons” not only bring intensity to our Advent preparation, but bring it to a joyful conclusion.
Each night, following our family rosary, we pray the O Antiphon for the day, sing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, which was inspired by this ancient tradition, and then give the children a special treat. 

(Picture from a past Advent Season) 

The "treats" have varied from year to year. Some years it has been little gifts or activities for the family, some years it is all food related, and some years it is a mix of both, depending on our schedule and budget. It doesn't need to cost much or even anything at all! Be creative!

Sometimes the treats are a bit of a stretch, but my goal is try and find gifts that will either help increase our faith (Catechism books, holy family, saints, prayer, etc) or encourage family time (games, puzzles, going to look at Christmas lights, etc). You can find some of our past O Antiphon treats by scrolling through the archives and visiting Catholic Cuisine.

Our family loves this tradition. It is such a fun way to teach the children about these beautiful prayers of the church and also increase their excitement as Christmas gets closer.



In case you are looking for some inspiration, I've listed some of the treats I've given my family over the years (along with my picks for this year)... Special food ideas, activities and gifts (or you can simply decorate chocolate coins!) for each of the O Antiphons can be found below. 

Once again I am hosting an O ANTIPHON GIVEAWAY! One lucky visitor here at Shower of Roses will receive a gift package including seven Cookie Stamps, one to represent each of the seven O Antiphons!  Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the details and to enter.


.: December 17th - O Sapientia (O Wisdom) :.


Since the symbol for wisdom is a book, I usually choose a new Catholic book for our family. 
Coffee from Patris Roasting Co. would be perfect to pair with a book! (I first mentioned this coffee in this post - it's now available to purchase! Save 5% with coupon code FRIENDS)

O Wisdom Ideas from Over the Years:

O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!



.: December 18th - O Adonai (O Lord) :.


"Burning bush..." or maybe a bonfire!  Perfect evening to pray the family rosary around the bonfire and maybe roast some marshmallows afterwards! 

In the past we would always emphasize the word "house" in this Antiphon, and have made our Gingerbread Houses or Gingerbread Cookies on this night.  Now that we have two birthdays this week (and two birthday cakes to bake and decorate!) we usually wait until Christmas or New Year's Eve, or sometime during the 12 Days of Christmas to decorated Gingerbread Houses. 

O Adonai Ideas from Over the Years:

O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm!



.: December 19th - O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse) :.


Our 2022 Family Ornament will be wrapped up for the 19th!

O Root of Jesse Ideas from Over the Years:

O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at Whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Whom the Gentiles shall seek, come to deliver us, do not tarry.



.: December 20th - O Clavis David (O Key of David) :.


The boys arrive home from college on the 20th this year!!! 
As St. Padre Pio, said: “Prayer is the best weapon we have. It is a key opening God's Heart."  
We are planning to take our children to Mass or Adoration and then pick up a Key Lime Pie from Birdie's Pie Shop to enjoy after dinner with some Sparkling Cider! 

O Key of David Ideas from Over the Years:

O Key of David, and Sceptre 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.



.: December 21st - O Oriens (O Dayspring) :.


We'll once again make hot cocoa, and we'll pile in the car (or two!) to go look at Christmas lights downtown weather permitting! I might give them their Christmas PJ's (purchased last Jan on clearance or save them for Christmas Eve depending on whether we plan to go to Midnight Mass or Mass at Dawn). 

O Dayspring Ideas from Over the Years:

O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!



.: December 22nd - O Rex Gentium (O King of the Gentiles) :.


O King Ideas from Over the Years: (many are perfect for Epiphany too) 

O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! 
O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!



.: December 23rd - O Emmanuel (O With Us is God) :.


Once again we'll bake our Christmas Cookies, fill a box/basket to take to Carmel, and maybe even pull out another Christmas puzzle (from our now large collection) to get started on!

O Emmanuel Ideas from Over the Years:

O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!






.: O ANTIPHONS GIVEAWAY :. 



Win a Set of Cookie Stamps
Here are the cookie stamps I picked out to go along with each of the O Antiphons.
The winner will receive one of each!

Wisdom: #460 – Triune God
House: #214 – Home Sweet Home
Root of Jesse: #520 – Willow Tree
Key of David: #543 – Key to My Heart
Dayspring: #291 – Moravian Star
King: #448 – Norwegian Wedding Crown
Emmanuel: #368 – Nativity

Sponsored by Rycraft Cookie Stamps
(7 cookie stamps with recipe booklet @ $12.99 ea = $90.93 value)


Enter the Giveaway using the Rafflecopter Box below: 
Once again, send me an email if it doesn't work for you and I'll add you manually! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Read more about our family's traditions here:

80 comments:

  1. Beautiful 💕 what a nice tradition for families ❤️

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  2. Please add me Jessica for the O Antiphon cookie stamps. Janice L.

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  3. Beautiful traditions! As one who loves Christmas baking, those stamps would be lovely!

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  4. Thanks for the giveaway!! Beautiful Tradition!

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  5. Wonderfully creative ways of following and using the O Antiphons. Thank you.

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  6. Thanks for doing this! I have begun the tradition of the O Antiphons this year. They are beautiful! Your ideas are helping me get started 😊

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  7. Oh my goodness. I long to be as “extra” as you… I’m about 10 years behind you, so maybe it’ll come together then😅. Thanks for the inspiration and the opportunity to win such a neat liturgical living item!

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  8. That last anon comment was me! Please enter me in giveaway!

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  9. I love that O Antiphon house! What a nice idea.

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  10. I love all the wonderful ideas!

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  11. What a lot of liturgical treasures there are here!

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  12. These are great ideas! Thank you for sharing!

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  13. I try to enter whenever possible. My plans are always to gift to my oldest son and family who are expecting #9 with the oldest just turning 15.

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  14. Amazing! These are lovely!

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  15. These are so lovely! I can't wait to add in something tangible to the antiphons...

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  16. Thanks so much. I’ve gleaned much over the years! God bless you and the family!

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  17. The stamped cookies are perfect for the Antiphons. Lovely!

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  18. Thank you for the O Antiphon Giveaway! From Dee.

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  19. I've tried multiple times to enter but can't

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    1. Send me an email (if you haven't already) and I'll get you added manually too!

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  20. These are beautiful idea and love them all thank you for your inspirations. -Roxanne Malley

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  21. A whole list for each day is extremely helpful to celebrate this tradition, thank you!

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  22. Such a fun tradition! Thank you for sharing!

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  23. Such a beautiful tradition. Thank you for putting together this post with so much wonderful information! And thank you for the giveaway opportunity 😊

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  24. Thank you for all of these great ideas! As a working mom, I struggle to find time to put this all together. I appreciate the lists of activities and treats you shared. I think it’s doable!

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  25. I love all these ideas!

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  26. These are darling!! Such an awesome addition to our Christmas traditions!

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  27. I’m grateful for the creative and beautiful ways to celebrate our faith and the season!

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  28. Thank you for a beautiful resource to help observe the last week of Advent!

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  29. What a great way to finish advent, with beautiful meaningful cookies!

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  30. I love these! I have been learning more about the O Antiphons this year.

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  31. I learn about these beautiful prayers from you many years ago and they have become a very important part of my advent

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  32. Such a fun giveaway! I used the one cookie stamp I’ve had for years for the first time this year. Now I can’t wait to get more!

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  33. These antiphone cookie stamps look amazing.

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  34. Lovely giveaway! Perfect to celebrate the O’Antiphons

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  35. We love the O Antiphon, I’ve never thought of baking cookies!

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  36. Love this comprehensive list and the variety of ways the O Antiphons can be incorporated into celebrating this season! Such a rich tradition! I have always enjoyed seeing this post throughout the years I’ve been following your blog.

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  37. Such a wonderful giveaway!

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  38. Thank you for putting this all together. I learn something new on your page every week. I had never heard of a cookie stamp. The kids will really enjoy this.

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  39. I will pay attention that the post defaults to anonymous.

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  40. Thank you for your lists! O Wisdom is always one of the easier ones, but struggle with some of them. Your lists are so helpful!

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  41. Beautiful cookie stamps, and so many great ideas!

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  42. These cookie stamps are beautiful — thanks for all the ideas!

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  43. I love ❤️ all of your helpful Catholic content !

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  44. This is such a beautiful tradition. I’d love to get it started with my younger kids still at home.

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  45. My daughter was just mentioning how much she’d love some cookie stamps. I had no idea we could incorporate the O Antiphons with her love of baking. Thank you!

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  46. This has always been a family goal to recognize these last days of Advent every year…yet it’s easy to get caught up in the preparations and not make time! You do such an excellent job and thank you for all the wonderful ideas to make it happen :)

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  47. Thank you for such a nice write up. I got a set of ornament with all the O Antiphons on them this year, and love the ideas on how to make more of the days. Yesterday we read the first one and put it on a garland, but hopefully we can incorporate a few of these ideas into the next days.

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  48. What a great post!! These are great resources and such a fun giveaway prize. We were just explaining the O Antiphons to the children last night. This year is the first time my oldest really seems to understand it all; so fun!!

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  49. Such beautiful ideas and a great giveaway!

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  50. We would love these!

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  51. I love this idea of making cookie treats too celebrate and your other ideas that can use what you may already have to celebrate. Thank you for the inspiration. ❤️ Dawn

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  52. Love these practical ideas!

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  53. So many wonderful ideas here! Thank you so much! May God reward you!

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  54. These stamps are gorgeous! I've been wanting to learn how to stamp cookies.

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  55. What a great idea! O Antiphon cookie stamps. Thank you for the giveaway. - Laura G.

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  56. Fantastic ideas!! Thanks for taking the time to compile this!

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  57. I would love to win these, as they are so beautiful, yet beyond our budget.

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  58. I would love to win these beautiful cookie stamps!

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  59. Thank you for continuing to update your posts! I get so many ideas from this blog for our home!

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  60. These stamps are beautifu!

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  61. So many great ideas! Thank you for the post. Is there a significance to using a house for displaying the O Antiphons? I'd like to create something like that for my family!

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  62. Thank you for this generous giveaway.
    Marion

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  63. Thank you for helping revive some old Catholic traditions! Angela S.

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  64. Lovely stamps, thank you!

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  65. Great ideas! Love the stamps.

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  66. I love that you've compiled so many ideas for celebrating the O Antiphons! I've saved a lot of links over the years, but this will be my primary go-to page now!

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  67. I've always wanted to use these!

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  68. Learning about this foe the first time. Thank you!

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  69. These are beautiful!

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  70. These are great! Merry Christmas!

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  71. So beautiful! Merry Christmas and thank you for years of inspiration.

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