Last Advent, I started making these little O Antiphon booklets to display on our dining table, but I only got 3 of them finished. Advent is one of the busiest times of the year for most families, and it’s not the most convenient time for me to start a new craft! So I pulled these out early this year and finished them – a whole month before they will be needed. That is probably a record of some kind for this household.
The interior of the books contains the Antiphon for the day, both in Latin as well as English.
The date is put on the back of the book so you know which one to use each day!
The O Antiphons are a Christian tradition from the 6th or 7th century based on the prophetic titles for Jesus found in Isaiah. They are special antiphons to recite during Mass & Vespers (evening prayer) during the 7 days from December 17th through December 23rd. (The song O Come, O Come Emmanuel is based on these antiphons.) Also, when you take the first letter of each prophetic title and write them backwards, it spells a hidden message! This is the technique called backwards acrostic, which has curiously been around long enough to be found even in the Old Testament. Evidently some of the “old guys” liked word play. Kudos to them – my 9 year old will enjoy learning this. To make it simple for the kiddos, I’ve created a cut-and-paste worksheet to go along with the Antiphon books that will explain the hidden message.
The instructions for creating and using the booklets, the worksheet, the Magnificat prayer and the lyrics to “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” are all included on this PDF here:
[button link=”https://helpingchildrenlearn.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/oantiphonactivities.pdf” style=”download” color=”silver”]O Antiphon Books and Worksheets![/button]
Enjoy! (And let me know what you think, or if you have any questions about the file.) There is further information about these Antiphons here at Catholic Cuisine and my post about Saint Nicholas Day is here.