The Great O Antiphons, The Golden Nights

by | Dec 13, 2023 | Advent and Christmas, O Antiphons | 71 comments

The Great O Antiphons, The Golden Nights

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.

Here are more details on our O Antiphon House and Blocks

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! Seven lucky visitors here at Shower of Roses will receive gifts this year!  Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the details and to enter.

O Sapientia (O Wisdom) – December 17th

Since the symbol for wisdom is a book, I usually choose a new Catholic book for our family. This year it’s going to be a copy of the brand new The Golden Key. (Currently out of stock until early 2024.) We are also hosting another big Murder Mystery party on December 17th. (This will be our 4th over the past few years… So much fun!) Let’s see who is wise enough to crack the case! 🙂

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 2023 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)

As St. Padre Pio, said: “Prayer is the best weapon we have. It is a key opening God’s Heart.”  

Once again 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! And for me? Hoping to try out this AIP compliant recipe for No-Bake Key Lime Bars! Maybe we’ll also play Escape from Colditz and “liberate the prisoner from the prison”. Our children love this game and have such special memories of playing it with their uncle, Father Terrence Gordon during his last visits to our home. ❤️

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 pile in the car to go look at Christmas lights downtown weather permitting!

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)

I’m still deciding on this one… Our children might receive the new Deluxe Christmas Nativity Wooden Playset from Shining Lights Dolls for this particular O Antiphon this year… I was sent two, one to keep and one to giveaway!

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 I’ve give the family a new Christmas puzzle to start! The little girls will discover a new book (The First Christmas for Our Dear Little Ones) in our Advent Book Basket along with this Christmas Nativity Wooden Cube Puzzle.

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!

Scroll through all the past “O Antiphon” posts here.

If you are looking for gift ideas, you can find my lists of Christmas Gift Ideas & Stocking Stuffers here (2015)here (2016)here (2017)here (2018)here (2019)here (2020), and here (2022).

O Antiphons Giveaway

And finally here is the 4th and final of my blog giveaways for this year!

Prize #1 – Set of Cookie Stamps

Win a Set of 7 Cookie Stamps with recipe booklet to go along with each of the O Antiphons: 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, and Emmanuel: #368 – Nativity sponsored by Rycraft Cookie Stamps ($90.93 Value)

Congratulations, Anna!

Prize #2 – Deluxe Christmas Nativity Wooden Playset

Includes: Deluxe Christmas Nativity Wooden Playset sponsored by Shining Light Dolls ($84.99 Value)

Congratulations, Diana R!

Prize #3 – St. Florian’s Soap – Rose Scented Gift Package

Luxurious Natural Bath and Body Products made by a fellow parishioner of ours here in North Idaho! Go check out all the lovely scents she has available! (Not all items pictured are included in prize.) Includes: 8 oz Rose Cream ($19), Rose Soap ($10) and Rose Perfume ($22) sponsored by St. Florian’s Soap ($51.00 Value)

Congratulations, Kaycee

Prize #4 – A Year With The Popes

Includes: A Year With The Popes sponsored by TAN Books (value $44.95)

Congratulations, Philomena!

Prize #5 – The Golden Key and Other Fairy Tales

Includes: The Golden Key and Other Fairy Tales sponsored by Word on Fire Spark ($24.95 Value)

Congratulations, Leane A!

Prize # 6 – Three Kings, Ten Mysteries: The Secrets of Christmas and Epiphany

Includes: Three Kings, Ten Mysteries: The Secrets of Christmas and Epiphany sponsored by Ignatius Press ($21.95 Value)

Congratulations, Elizabeth!

Prize #7 – Seven Clues: A Catholic Treasure Hunt

Includes: Seven Clues: A Catholic Treasure Hunt by Scott Hahn and Maura Roan McKeegan ($19.99 Value)

Congratulations, Katherine M!

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:

The Advent Season In Our Catholic Home

71 Comments

  1. Josephine

    Fun post with so many ideas!

    All the prizes are awesome but #3, #4, #1 or #6 would be my top picks, in that order.

    Reply
    • Liz Schulte

      So excited about this giveaway!
      In Colombia where I am from we have a beautiful devotion to the antiphons. I hope I can win, it will mean the world. Beautiful!
      Thanks for this opportunity to participate

      Reply
    • giselle vargas

      Thank you! My Favorites are prizes #6,#3,#5 and #7

      Reply
    • Angie W

      The shining light wooden playset would be wonderful for my daughter and granddaughter.

      Reply
    • Joy

      Amazing as always Jessica.

      Reply
  2. Laura Gonzalez

    I really enjoyed learning about some new companies here on your blog post. Also, prize #7, 3, 1 and 4 are my favorite choices. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Andrea

    I love the St. FLORIAN bath and body products and the Catholic scavenger hunt looks so neat! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Kaycee

      Another great giveaway!

      Reply
      • Dawn

        Another lovely give away! Thank you so much! Our family enjoys celebrating the Greater Antiphon days of Advent. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas. God bless you and for a chance to win one of these lovely gifts. God bless you.

        Reply
  4. Diana Rawlings

    #2, #6, and #1 are my top choices. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

    Reply
    • Dawn

      Another lovely gove away! Thank you so much for all the wonderful ideas to celebrate the Greater Antiphon days of Advent! Thank you for a chance to win one if these lovely gifts as well. God bless you.

      Reply
  5. Lizette

    +JMJ+
    Thank you so much! I like prize #1 and #3 the best!

    Reply
    • Lucy Walker

      There are great! My sister Marie has been encouraging me to add more O’antifont traditions inspired by your blog.

      Reply
  6. Agnes

    PAX
    Love your blog posts as always!
    My favorites are prizes #1 and #4.

    Reply
    • Kaycee

      Another great giveaway!

      Reply
      • Melanie

        This is a difficult choice, the prizes are all great! I guess I would pick the nativity set to give to my grandbaby!

        Reply
  7. Laura D.

    Fabulous ideas, as always!

    Reply
  8. Maria Norris

    Thank you for another great giveaway! #2 is definitely my favorite!

    Reply
  9. Sarah Fink

    Love #1, 2 and 5! Have a blessed Advent, I pray you’re feeling better!

    Reply
    • Lauren Sadowski

      I would love any of the prizes. 😁 Such a great blog. Thank you for all of your ideas.

      Reply
  10. Chris Schremmer

    All the books are beautiful! What a great giveaway!

    Reply
    • Kim

      Wow! Thank you for such an amazing resource for celebrating and entering into the final days leading up to Christmas!

      Reply
  11. Megan

    What a beautiful tradition! Thanks so much for the generous giveaways!

    Reply
  12. Tracy Smith

    Another amazing giveaway! Thanks Jessica!

    Reply
  13. Natalie

    The soap looks amazing

    Reply
  14. Molly VA

    The wooden nativity set seems like such a wonderful way to teach the little ones about Our Lord’s birth without being worried about nicer figures!

    Reply
  15. Marie Gomez

    Great prizes! 2,1,5,6,7 are my favorites. Hope you’re feeling a little better.

    Reply
  16. K H

    Thank you!

    Reply
  17. Marie

    The wooden nativity set is so adorable! All great prizes!

    Reply
  18. Kristen

    The cookie stamps have been on my wish list for a while. They would be lovely to win!

    Reply
  19. Marilyn

    Thank you for this great giveaway. #1,#2,#4,#6#7
    Marilyn

    Reply
  20. Gina

    This is an awesome idea! We usually glaze over the O Antiphons but I am set on making this a tradition in our family too! Thank you!

    Reply
  21. Trisha

    Another great give-away! Happy Advent!

    Reply
  22. Katherine Tapp

    Awesome giveaway! I would love The Golden Key and Other Fairy Tales. Thank you!

    Reply
  23. Norma Kondrat

    Amazing giveaway!

    Reply
  24. Deborah Schaefer

    Beautiful ideas for entering the last holy days of Advent. I especially like the prizes #5 and #3. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Stephanie Langley

      Happy Advent!

      Reply
  25. Katherine M.

    Thank you for all the wonderful ideas! The O Antiphon house is on my list to make some year!

    Reply
  26. Melissa

    These are so many amazing ideas to celebrate the O Antiphons!! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  27. Melodee M

    Thank you so much, Jessica! I am praying today that you’ll be in good health as you finish preparing for Christmas and enjoy a lot of family time.
    We would especially enjoy the cookie stamps or Nativity set.
    God bless you and your family!

    Reply
  28. CMB

    Neat information on a tradition that’s new to me.
    Thank you! #2, #3 or #7 but all the prizes are neat and generous.

    Reply
  29. Melissa

    You’re so kind to host this giveaway. Thank you! (Prizes 1, 6, & 7 definitely caught my eye.)

    Reply
  30. Melissa

    Oops! 😬 I meant 1, 5, & 6

    Reply
  31. Natalie K

    Thank you so much for this! I love all these ideas- and would like to start celebrating the O Antiphons in some form! I always go to your blog for liturgical living ideas, and I am never disappointed! 🥰
    The giveaway is awesome! I’d especially love either #1 or #2 – but any of them would be wonderful!

    Reply
    • Lauren

      All of the ideas are amazing! I’ll be referencing this blog for a while for O Antiphons! The wooden nativity set and The Golden Key are the giveaway items I like best.

      Reply
  32. Ann Marie R

    Would love prize #2 for my youngest! Thanks for these great prizes and God bless!

    Reply
  33. Maria F

    I love the period of the O Antiphons! So much anticipation as the verses bring us closer and closer.

    3,2,6, and 1 would be my picks starting with 3!

    Reply
  34. Dinh Do

    Nice giveaway! Would love to win , 2, 1 or 4!

    Reply
  35. Anna

    Thank you. #1 is my favorite

    Reply
  36. Kaleb García

    Love this tradition that I learned from you! God bless

    Reply
  37. Christina Tapp

    This is a wonderful giveaway! Thank you!
    I would love Prize #5 – The Golden Key and Other Fairy Tales

    Reply
  38. Jeramie

    Thank you for organizing this! I will have to be more on top of it for next year 🙂

    Reply
  39. Deborah Connell

    Love these ideas! These golden nights have become a favorite tradition! I love #1 and 5. 🙂

    Reply
  40. Jennifer McNicoll

    You’re blog is the best and you host the most amazing giveaways! Love the shining light dolls nativity

    Reply
    • Kristy F

      I would love the St. Florian’s Soap package!

      Reply
  41. Elizabeth

    Love this tradition! Amazing giveaway, thank you and God bless!

    Reply
  42. Jesica

    Love the books! Any and all would be fun to win.

    Reply
  43. Leane

    Thank you for sharing this ancient tradition. I wish I’d known more about it when our kids were at home.
    Lovely gifts, all! #2, 5 and 7 stand out though, with granddaughters in mind. 😉

    Reply
  44. Leila C

    I always look forward to this post and seeing what you’ll include!! 1, 2, 3, and 6 look so neat!

    Reply
  45. Emily Bacon

    #3!! St.Florian Soaps is FANTASTIC!!

    Reply
  46. Emily Bacon

    #3!! St.Florian Soaps are my favorite!!!

    Reply
  47. Danny

    Prize 1, 3,4, 7

    Reply
  48. Mary

    Thank you for another great giveaway. I’d love to win prize #2!! Prize #3 would be my second choice.

    Reply
  49. Carmelina Josephine

    Thank you!! My favorite is #2 (the wooden Nativity set), and #1 (the cookie stamp set) looks like a lot of fun, too!! 🙂

    Reply
  50. Philomena

    Thank you for offering this giveaway! My favorite prize is #2, second favorite #1.

    Reply
  51. Joann Hayden

    The shining light dolls nativity!

    Reply
  52. Janice Santos

    My first choice would be the nativity set and my second choice would be the cookie stamps.

    Thank you for all you do!!

    Reply
  53. Tricia Fanning

    What a great list of resources and ideas! Would love to win #1

    Reply
  54. Kate

    Love the Shining Lights nativity set, so sweet!

    Reply
  55. Rebecca Tapp

    I would love prize # 5,6,7.
    Thank you so much for this giveaway!

    Reply
  56. JoAnn

    Love this post! So many fun ideas for the different days!

    Reply

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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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