Tuesday, December 15, 2009

O Antiphon Activities

I love Jessica's ideas for celebrating each day of the O Antiphons with something that represents the Antiphon of the day. I wanted to share a few variations that I came up with that differ just a bit from Jessica's ideas. Since we are only expecting the arrival of Our Lord and not a soft, pink bundle of joy, I can plan to do more around the kitchen than sweet Jessica can right now. You have to admire her commitment to her family's celebration of these special times of the season to have everything so prepared and in place should her little one arrive early! We are praying for you, Jessica!

December 17th

O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come, and teach us the way of prudence.

Marigold Hunt's books are really wonderful. My kids have enjoyed her book St. Patrick's Summer and I think they will equally enjoy this book filled with the acts (and wisdom) of the apostles. And perhaps something a little sweet! I'm sure we can find something like that around here.

December 18th

O Lord and Ruler the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: come, and redeem us with outstretched arms.

Making gingerbread houses will be a perfect activity for today, and just like Karen's kids, I think mine would actually prefer to make some that they can eat instead of just look at. If we don't get a chance to make gingerbread, graham crackers will work just fine.

We also have a lovely Christmas candle in the shape of a tiny tree/bush that was given to us. You know, the kind you think is too pretty to burn but then you pack it away in the Christmas boxes that spend all summer in an 212 degree attic only to pull it out next year and find it's just a twisted lump of wax. Well, it just might get burned today. Why should the attic get all the fun?

December 19th

O Root of Jesse, that stands for an ensign of the people, before whom the kings keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: come, to deliver us, and tarry not.

Our favorite carrot muffins and root beer. I'm curious, has anyone ever used one of these homemade root beer kits? Any good?

December 20th

O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: come, and bring forth the captive from his prison, he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Jessica suggested key lime pie...yum! My kids, however, might prefer Key Lime Cake or maybe White Chocolate Key Lime Muffins. One of those recipes should do nicely.

December 21st

O Dawn of the East, brightness of light eternal, and sun of justice: come, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Texas Sunrise
(a Tequila Sunrise without the Tequila, of course)
~homemade grenadine and orange juice

December 22

O King of the gentiles and their desired One, the cornerstone that makes both one: come, and deliver man, whom you formed out of the dust of the earth.

I have an activity from the feast of Christ the King that we never got a chance to do. Perfect for today! Plus, I think King Ranch Chicken or Turkey ala King might be fun for dinner.

December 23rd

O Emmanuel, God with us, our King and lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Savior: come to save us, O Lord our God.

We have all of the nativity sets we can handle and then some so, this companion to the first book they will receive seems most fitting today. I can't wait to crack it open with them.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Advent season.


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  2. Oh, you are so sweet Charlotte!! Thank you so very much for your prayers!!

    You have come up with a wonderful list of ways to celebrate the O Antiphons!!

    We just finished reading both of the books you mentioned by Marigold Hunt for History and they ARE excellent!! I am sure your children will enjoy them!

    I LOVE the idea of Root beer! In fact I have a whole case from Costco I purchased the last time I was there (due to pregnancy cravings, as I never buy soda) and my children keep begging for some! We'll have to add that to our plans for the 19th!

    The Texas Sunrise drink is such a fun idea too!!!

    Now if I could just have this baby today so I don't have to miss out on any of the fun later this week! ;) I'd rather not go past my due date!

  3. So, I am still pretty new to being Catholic (about 4yrs ago converted) and will always be learning...God Willing.
    I am a little confused on what the O Antiphons are exactly? Also, I like all the ideas of observing the diff days. However, I remember the priest the other day from our Parish saying Advent is not a time for loud music, parties etc...but a peaceful time. How can I celebrate the O Antiphons without being too party-like for Advent? Just curious on what you think?

  4. I saw Jessica's list and thought it was so good. And now I see more good ideas here! I don't think we will do something everyday, except the prayers of course, but a special thing "here and there" is definitely in the plans.

  5. You're going to love those Marigold Hunt books!! They're delicious reads! Just be ready to take a few days with each of them!

    Your O'Antiphon plans look delightful! I'm still musing over here!

  6. Hi there, Megan! First of all, let me say that I do not claim to be any kind of expert on Church teachings or practices (liturgical or otherwise) so take what I say simply at face value.

    Your priest is, I believe, also expressing his personal opinion regarding how Advent should be “celebrated” and while that opinion is supported by the many calls to simplicity, prayer and preparation during this Advent season in various church documents, letters and homilies, it is still only an opinion and not official church teaching. Advent is not a required penitential season. There is no doctrine that I am aware of that calls for any kind of sacrificial acts during this time of preparation and while our wonderful Holy Fathers, Benedict and John Paul II (the only two I can remember) have spent much time and effort exhorting Catholics to fight against the high tide of materialism and consumerism, they have never given specific examples of fasting from such things as loud music or parties. I believe what your pastor is referring to is the tendency of our secular world to celebrate the Advent season as the Christmas season and Christmas Day as the culmination of that rather than Advent as a time of preparation and Christmas Day as the beginning of the Christmas season. Voluntary acts of sacrifice are always beneficial to the spiritual life of a Catholic whenever they happen and some families do choose to make these apart of their Advent. Again though, those are personal choices made in prudence within each individual family.

    Secondly, what I try to do (and what I think Jessica tries to do too) when it comes to finding an activity to help “celebrate” a particular saint is to work something into our regular daily life. Most families have some kind of snack time or tea time. Why not choose orange juice and grenadine to serve on the day of O Dawn of the East? Most families indulge in a dessert occasionally, so why not choose Key Lime Pie for the day of O Key of David? Every family eats dinner, so why not choose King Ranch casserole for dinner on the night of O King of the Gentiles? I don’t think that really counts as an unnecessary celebration (dinner is very necessary around here), although a celibate priest might think dinner and dessert with 4 or more children sounds like a full blown frat party. :)

    As far as what the O Antiphons are, they are best explained in this article. If you don’t know much about the Liturgy of the Hours, then just know that they are 7 different chanted antiphons that each begin with a different Messianic title. The tradition of giving a special gift or enjoying a special food is actually a monastic one, Jessica tells me. Christmas is the only season that is both proceeded and followed by an octave celebration and the monks would each be assigned to bring something special to the feast representing the antiphon of that night. By bringing them into the home it’s a way to really ramp up our final countdown to the birth of Our Lord. A way to remind ourselves every night of Who is coming and why we are so excited.

  7. I LOVE the rootbeer idea too! I think floats might be in order for that day. Thanks for such great ideas!

  8. I have a frozen lime torte recipe we might use on Sunday. (Hey, I'm in Georgia--we'll eat ice cream any day of the year!) And a neat embellished key project if I'm ambitious: http://www.squidoo.com/embellishedkeys

  9. Hi Charlotte!

    Between Jessica's, Alice's and your blog I am set for an awesome "O Antiphon"! Thanks so much!!

    As far as those homemade root beer sets by husband got one for Christmas last year and loved it. That man LOVES his root beer so I can assume it'll be good.

  10. love your ideas. can't wait to try some out in a couple years. we're just not at the O Antiphons stage yet. Happy Advent.

  11. Just got back from visiting one of my favorite states TX!
    Wanted to thank you for the response to my questions. Especially working something into daily routine. Also, the "it is still only an opinion and not official church teaching" and "tendency of our secular world to celebrate the Advent season as the Christmas season and Christmas Day as the culmination of that rather than Advent". That makes a lot of sense and makes me want to dig deeper/ listen more. You and Jessica are such an inspiration when it comes to incoporating our faith into our daily lives!
    Thanks. God Bless.


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