Today marks the beginning of the O Antiphons, prayers said during the Octave before Christmas.
From the Catholic Education Resource Center: "The importance of “O Antiphons” is twofold: Each one highlights a title for the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel. Also, each one refers to the prophecy of Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah."
The really cool thing about the Anitphons is that when the initial for each is read backward they form an acrostic for the Latin "Ero Cras" which means "Tomorrow I come."
This is our first year adding the O Antiphons to our Advent traditions and I borrowed an idea to create an O Antiphon House:
As well as the Latin translation and the date the Antiphon is said:
Because of my limited talent with such artsy things, I printed everything then hand colored the symbols and used Mod Podge to attach everything to the blocks. I also added the text for each Antiphon in the various "rooms" of the house. Each day we'll pray the Antiphon then add the block.
I don't love how it turned out. With more time, I would change a few things. Next year I think I'll re-letter "Ero Cras" and stars at the top. I also need to decide if I want to add anything to the spaces where the blocks rest until needed. I've seen houses with images of the Nativity or stars. I might try and hand draw and letter the blocks too, but we'll see.