The Great O Antiphons, The Golden Nights

by | Dec 17, 2022 | Advent and Christmas, O Antiphons | 80 comments

Ever since our oldest children were very little, we have been implementing an old monastic custom in our home by providing special treats, representing each of the “O Antiphons” on the days leading up to Christmas. The O Antiphon prayers begin on December 17th and end on the 23rd, which is the last Vespers of Advent, since the evening prayer on the 24th is the Vigil of Christmas.

The Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one – Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia – the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” Therefore, the Lord Jesus, whose coming we have prepared for in Advent and whom we have addressed in these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to us, “Tomorrow, I will come.” So the “O Antiphons” not only bring intensity to our Advent preparation, but bring it to a joyful conclusion.

Each night, following our family rosary, we pray the O Antiphon for the day, sing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, which was inspired by this ancient tradition, and then give the children a special treat.

(Picture from a past Advent Season) 

The “treats” have varied from year to year. Some years it has been little gifts or activities for the family, some years it is all food related, and some years it is a mix of both, depending on our schedule and budget. It doesn’t need to cost much or even anything at all! Be creative!

Sometimes the treats are a bit of a stretch, but my goal is try and find gifts that will either help increase our faith (Catechism books, holy family, saints, prayer, etc) or encourage family time (games, puzzles, going to look at Christmas lights, etc). You can find some of our past O Antiphon treats by scrolling through the archives and visiting Catholic Cuisine.

Our family loves this tradition. It is such a fun way to teach the children about these beautiful prayers of the church and also increase their excitement as Christmas gets closer.

In case you are looking for some inspiration, I’ve listed some of the treats I’ve given my family over the years (along with my picks for this year)… Special food ideas, activities and gifts (or you can simply decorate chocolate coins!) for each of the O Antiphons can be found below.

Once again I am hosting an O ANTIPHON GIVEAWAY! One lucky visitor here at Shower of Roses will receive a gift package including seven Cookie Stamps, one to represent each of the seven O Antiphons!  Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the details and to enter.

.: December 17th – O Sapientia (O Wisdom) :.
Since the symbol for wisdom is a book, I usually choose a new Catholic book for our family. 
Coffee from Patris Roasting Co. would be perfect to pair with a book! (I first mentioned this coffee in this post – it’s now available to purchase! Save 5% with coupon code FRIENDS)
O Wisdom Ideas from Over the Years:
O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!
.: December 18th – O Adonai (O Lord) :.
“Burning bush…” or maybe a bonfire!  Perfect evening to pray the family rosary around the bonfire and maybe roast some marshmallows afterwards! 
In the past we would always emphasize the word “house” in this Antiphon, and have made our Gingerbread Houses or Gingerbread Cookies on this night.  Now that we have two birthdays this week (and two birthday cakes to bake and decorate!) we usually wait until Christmas or New Year’s Eve, or sometime during the 12 Days of Christmas to decorated Gingerbread Houses. 

O Adonai Ideas from Over the Years:

O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm!
.: December 19th – O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse) :.
Our 2022 Family Ornament will be wrapped up for the 19th!
O Root of Jesse Ideas from Over the Years:
O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at Whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Whom the Gentiles shall seek, come to deliver us, do not tarry.
.: December 20th – O Clavis David (O Key of David) :.
The boys arrive home from college on the 20th this year!!!
As St. Padre Pio, said: “Prayer is the best weapon we have. It is a key opening God’s Heart.”  
We are planning to take our children to Mass or Adoration and then pick up a Key Lime Pie from Birdie’s Pie Shop to enjoy after dinner with some Sparkling Cider!
O Key of David Ideas from Over the Years:
O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth, come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.
.: December 21st – O Oriens (O Dayspring) :.
We’ll once again make hot cocoa, and we’ll pile in the car (or two!) to go look at Christmas lights downtown weather permitting! I might give them their Christmas PJ’s (purchased last Jan on clearance or save them for Christmas Eve depending on whether we plan to go to Midnight Mass or Mass at Dawn). 
O Dayspring Ideas from Over the Years:
O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!
.: December 22nd – O Rex Gentium (O King of the Gentiles) :.
O King Ideas from Over the Years: (many are perfect for Epiphany too)
O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! 
O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!
.: December 23rd – O Emmanuel (O With Us is God) :.

Once again we’ll bake our Christmas Cookies, fill a box/basket to take to Carmel, and maybe even pull out another Christmas puzzle (from our now large collection) to get started on!

O Emmanuel Ideas from Over the Years:
O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!

Win a Set of Cookie Stamps

Here are the cookie stamps I picked out to go along with each of the O Antiphons.
The winner will receive one of each!

Wisdom: #460 – Triune God
House: #214 – Home Sweet Home
Root of Jesse: #520 – Willow Tree
Key of David: #543 – Key to My Heart
Dayspring: #291 – Moravian Star
King: #448 – Norwegian Wedding Crown
Emmanuel: #368 – Nativity

(7 cookie stamps with recipe booklet @ $12.99 ea = $90.93 value)
Enter the Giveaway using the Rafflecopter Box below: 
Once again, send me an email if it doesn’t work for you and I’ll add you manually! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read more about our family’s traditions here:


  1. Maureen

    Beautiful 💕 what a nice tradition for families ❤️

  2. joy

    Please add me Jessica for the O Antiphon cookie stamps. Janice L.

  3. Jesica W

    I love these ideas!

  4. Anonymous

    Beautiful traditions! As one who loves Christmas baking, those stamps would be lovely!

  5. Anonymous

    Thanks for the giveaway!! Beautiful Tradition!

  6. LaskeyCollective

    Wonderfully creative ways of following and using the O Antiphons. Thank you.

  7. Kris Levy

    Thanks for doing this! I have begun the tradition of the O Antiphons this year. They are beautiful! Your ideas are helping me get started 😊

  8. Anonymous

    Fantastic giveaway

  9. Anonymous

    Oh my goodness. I long to be as “extra” as you… I’m about 10 years behind you, so maybe it’ll come together then😅. Thanks for the inspiration and the opportunity to win such a neat liturgical living item!

  10. Anonymous

    That last anon comment was me! Please enter me in giveaway!

  11. Anonymous

    I love that O Antiphon house! What a nice idea.

  12. Anonymous

    I love all the wonderful ideas!

  13. Erin Caughron

    What a lot of liturgical treasures there are here!

  14. Anonymous

    These are great ideas! Thank you for sharing!

  15. Anonymous

    I try to enter whenever possible. My plans are always to gift to my oldest son and family who are expecting #9 with the oldest just turning 15.

  16. Anonymous

    Amazing! These are lovely!

  17. lillabrigi

    These are so lovely! I can't wait to add in something tangible to the antiphons…

  18. Anonymous

    Thanks so much. I’ve gleaned much over the years! God bless you and the family!

  19. Cindy

    The stamped cookies are perfect for the Antiphons. Lovely!

  20. Dee

    Thank you for the O Antiphon Giveaway! From Dee.

  21. Anonymous

    I've tried multiple times to enter but can't

  22. Anonymous

    These are beautiful idea and love them all thank you for your inspirations. -Roxanne Malley

  23. Anonymous


  24. Beverly

    A whole list for each day is extremely helpful to celebrate this tradition, thank you!

  25. Jessica Gordon

    Send me an email (if you haven't already) and I'll get you added manually too!

  26. Anonymous

    Such a fun tradition! Thank you for sharing!

  27. Anonymous

    Such a beautiful tradition. Thank you for putting together this post with so much wonderful information! And thank you for the giveaway opportunity 😊

  28. Anonymous

    These are darling!! Such an awesome addition to our Christmas traditions!

  29. Anonymous

    I love all these ideas!

  30. Sara Grotbo

    Thank you for all of these great ideas! As a working mom, I struggle to find time to put this all together. I appreciate the lists of activities and treats you shared. I think it’s doable!

  31. Kaleb Garcia

    I learn about these beautiful prayers from you many years ago and they have become a very important part of my advent

  32. Anonymous

    I love these! I have been learning more about the O Antiphons this year.

  33. Trisha Dean

    What a great way to finish advent, with beautiful meaningful cookies!

  34. Kait

    Thank you for a beautiful resource to help observe the last week of Advent!

  35. Rowena

    I’m grateful for the creative and beautiful ways to celebrate our faith and the season!

  36. Anonymous

    Beautiful cookie stamps, and so many great ideas!

  37. Sarah J

    Thank you for your lists! O Wisdom is always one of the easier ones, but struggle with some of them. Your lists are so helpful!

  38. Nicole Allen

    I will pay attention that the post defaults to anonymous.

  39. Anonymous

    Thank you for putting this all together. I learn something new on your page every week. I had never heard of a cookie stamp. The kids will really enjoy this.

  40. Anonymous

    Such a wonderful giveaway!

  41. Leila

    Love this comprehensive list and the variety of ways the O Antiphons can be incorporated into celebrating this season! Such a rich tradition! I have always enjoyed seeing this post throughout the years I’ve been following your blog.

  42. Anonymous

    We love the O Antiphon, I’ve never thought of baking cookies!

  43. Heather L

    Lovely giveaway! Perfect to celebrate the O’Antiphons

  44. Anonymous

    These antiphone cookie stamps look amazing.

  45. Jennifer

    I love your ideas!

  46. Rachel S.

    Such a fun giveaway! I used the one cookie stamp I’ve had for years for the first time this year. Now I can’t wait to get more!

  47. Jane

    These cookie stamps are beautiful — thanks for all the ideas!

  48. Anonymous

    I love ❤️ all of your helpful Catholic content !

  49. Anonymous

    This is such a beautiful tradition. I’d love to get it started with my younger kids still at home.

  50. Anonymous

    My daughter was just mentioning how much she’d love some cookie stamps. I had no idea we could incorporate the O Antiphons with her love of baking. Thank you!

  51. Susan

    This has always been a family goal to recognize these last days of Advent every year…yet it’s easy to get caught up in the preparations and not make time! You do such an excellent job and thank you for all the wonderful ideas to make it happen 🙂

  52. Heather

    Thank you for such a nice write up. I got a set of ornament with all the O Antiphons on them this year, and love the ideas on how to make more of the days. Yesterday we read the first one and put it on a garland, but hopefully we can incorporate a few of these ideas into the next days.

  53. Colleen T

    What a great post!! These are great resources and such a fun giveaway prize. We were just explaining the O Antiphons to the children last night. This year is the first time my oldest really seems to understand it all; so fun!!

  54. Anonymous

    Such beautiful ideas and a great giveaway!

  55. Anonymous

    We would love these!

  56. Anonymous

    I love this idea of making cookie treats too celebrate and your other ideas that can use what you may already have to celebrate. Thank you for the inspiration. ❤️ Dawn

  57. Fromtheprairie

    These stamps are gorgeous! I've been wanting to learn how to stamp cookies.

  58. Anonymous

    So many wonderful ideas here! Thank you so much! May God reward you!

  59. Anonymous

    Love these practical ideas!

  60. Anonymous

    What a great idea! O Antiphon cookie stamps. Thank you for the giveaway. – Laura G.

  61. Anonymous

    Fantastic ideas!! Thanks for taking the time to compile this!

  62. Anonymous

    I would love to win these, as they are so beautiful, yet beyond our budget.

  63. Shaina

    I would love to win these beautiful cookie stamps!

  64. Anonymous

    Thank you for continuing to update your posts! I get so many ideas from this blog for our home!

  65. Anonymous

    These stamps are beautifu!

  66. Katherine M.

    So many great ideas! Thank you for the post. Is there a significance to using a house for displaying the O Antiphons? I'd like to create something like that for my family!

  67. Anonymous

    Thank you for this generous giveaway.

  68. Anonymous

    Thank you for helping revive some old Catholic traditions! Angela S.

  69. Anonymous

    Lovely stamps, thank you!

  70. Anonymous

    Love these stamps!

  71. Anonymous

    thank you 🙂

  72. Anonymous

    Great ideas! Love the stamps.

  73. Anonymous


  74. Anonymous

    I love that you've compiled so many ideas for celebrating the O Antiphons! I've saved a lot of links over the years, but this will be my primary go-to page now!

  75. Anonymous

    Great ideas.

  76. M.E.S.

    I've always wanted to use these!

  77. Anonymous

    Learning about this foe the first time. Thank you!

  78. Anonymous

    These are beautiful!

  79. Anonymous

    These are great! Merry Christmas!

  80. Anonymous

    So beautiful! Merry Christmas and thank you for years of inspiration.


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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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