The O Antiphons is one of the easiest and most fun things to do with your children during Advent. I can never keep up with the Jesse tree activity, but this one is only done for 6 days, so it's easy for me to keep up with this devotion. For this craft you will need these supplies, easily found at your local craft store:
1 wooden shadow box house- $5.00
1 pkg of 1 inch unfinished wooden blocks- $3.00
1 bag of unfinished wooden letters- $2.00
1 wooden star- .25 cents
1 can of gold spray paint- $4.00
1 can of purple spray paint- $4.00
a picture of the Nativity from an old Christmas card
hot glue gun
First, I spray painted the wooden blocks, star and letters with gold spray paint and the house with purple spray paint. After the paint was dry, I glued the star and the letters to the house. Once the wooden blocks were dry, I drew the O Antiphon images on the blocks and colored them in with the permanent markers. I wrote the names of the O Antiphons on paper and glued them on each box. I keep the the blocks in the empty box and the kids place them in the proper boxes beginning on December 17th. That's it! This is a very easy and inexpensive way to celebrate the O Antiphons with your children. Here is a great explanation of the O Antiphons by Fr. Saunders.
The “O Antiphons” refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, Dec. 17-23, with Dec. 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil.
"The O Antiphons are the seven jewels of our liturgy, dating back to the fourth century, one for each day until Christmas Eve. These antiphons address Christ with seven magnificent Messianic titles, based on the Old Testament prophecies and types of Christ. The Church recalls the variety of the ills of man before the coming of the Redeemer."
The "O" Antiphons are the verses for the ancient hymn O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The first letter of the Messianic titles: Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia—spell out Latin words ERO CRAS, meaning, "Tomorrow, I will come."
The antiphons are part of the evening prayer of the Divine Office, the antiphon before and after the Magnificat. They are also the alleluia verse before the Gospel at Mass.