Advent Crafts

I know, Advent is almost over.

My creative outlet this year was making our Jesse Tree ornaments. For the past 3 years we’ve done a Jesse tree in some fashion with paper ornaments. And I still let Therese color the paper pictures for our school prayer. But I decided this year I wanted to make something more permanent. I found some oval wooden disc, paint, and time in the evenings when Adam was working or at Church. With some help from the kids painting the solid colors, I finally finished these last week:

There are a total of 28–for the 4 weeks of Advent, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. They each have a symbol painted on the front and the scripture reading on the back. The Jesse Tree is named from Isaiah 11:1: “A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots.” It is a way to tell the Story of God in the Old Testament, and to connect the Advent Season with the faithfulness of God across 4,000 years of history.

Last week we also started the O Antiphons. And we made this O Antiphon house:

The “O Antiphons” refer to the seven antiphons that are recited before the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation of the Octave before Christmas, Dec. 17-23. Each O Antiphon 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. This is where we get the lyrics to O Come, O Come Emmanuel. Since this hymn is one of the favorites of the mine and the kids, we’ve enjoyed reading the O Antiphons and singing O Come, O Come Emmanuel after dinner. In addition, there’s a “tradition” of giving a small treat after dinner for each day of the O Antiphons–the kids have really enjoyed this part of course. I only learned about the O Antiphons last year and have really enjoyed teaching the kids about them.

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