Friday, November 18, 2011

The O Antiphons

One other Advent tradition we started last year was adding the O Antiphons to our nightly prayers. I fell in love with the ornaments at Under Her Starry Mantle and pretty much copied hers (why mess with something so beautiful?). At first, I was not sure how to hang the ornaments. Perhaps on the kids' mini tree? On a golden tree limb? On the Christmas tree? In the end I found a golden, swirly kind of stand at the thrift store that was perfect for the O Antiphons. Now, the stand takes a place all its own and glows softly on Christmas Eve as candlelight warms our home. (The stand will work great for the 12 days of Christmas as well should I ever make ornaments or some kind of display for those days - which I would love to do!)

The O Antiphons are a beautiful prayer for the seven days before Christmas (starting December 17th) that tell of each of Christ's seven Messianic titles based on Old Testament scripture: O Sapienta (Wisdom), O Adonai (Lord and Ruler), O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (Key of David), O Oriens (Dawn of the East), O Rex Gentium (King of the Gentiles, and O Emmanuel (God with Us). The images are a nice way to illustrate the prayers though absolutely not necessary to begin the O Antiphons this year! Some easy ideas would be to print larger images to hang on the wall, to make paper ornaments, to view a picture on the computer as you say the prayer. Add the song O Come, O Come Emmanuel (see link below for the appropriate verse) - sing it or play it for those who are tune-challenged, as I can be!

I could copy all the prayers for you, but you can find a beautiful spread at Family in Feast and Feria to print and use that I found last year. Take time to read the post as well. I believe it is well worth checking out. She also has other suggestions in bringing the meaning of the O Antiphons to children such as through song, food, and symbols.

This is an easy tradition to add to your Advent season, and one that draws you back into the season of preparation, as it is so easy to become side-tracked this close to Christmas (I know I do!).


  1. We haven't done these thing at a time. I know that one of these advents we will do the O antiphons. Your ornaments are so beautiful.

  2. Yep, one thing at a time, that's for sure. You could always add just the prayers and save the extra stuff to add in over the years.


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