About 2 years ago we made this as a joint project as we like having the visual to help focus our attentions.
This works wonderfully. Have I mentioned what talented children we have. Braedon made the box entirely from scratch from my rough sketches. He also made each of the little square blocks as well.
I painted the 'House ' and stuck the stars on. Autumn drew on the cues and Eden made the Sculpy Church and Jesus in the manger.
Each night we say the pray from below and sing Come O come Emmanuel. and put the cube from on top of the "O Antiphon House" in to the appropriate space.
In the past we have sung the entire hymn each evening or other years we have just sung the appropriate verse.
Basically we have followed the ideas from below as set out by the wonderful site Fisheaters.
I would love to use some of these ideas from Jessica, Charlotte and here is another one by Jen at Catholic Culture but have not organised them in time. Perhaps next year. This also has more information to read.
Just a quick note I think it is wonderful to share our ideas on these special days as we do as I know it helps me to think "that is a great idea and I might like to do that" but often I think "hey that's great but here is something I think fits better with our family."
So thank you to all those lovely ladies who are willing to share ideas with us to help us create memorable experiences as we each build our own"Domestic Church's."
I have copied the main parts of the O Antiphons below from Fisheaters but if you want more information go to this link.
Below are the O Antiphons in both English and Latin. One is prayed each evening at Vespers time (around sunset), and families can make up their own ceremonies using the Antiphons, Scripture, by singing or listening to sacred music (especially "O Come, Emmanuel," see below), adding to their Jesse Trees, etc. Whatever you do, set the scene, as you should with all Catholic family devotions: burn incense, lower the lights, light candles, use sacred music at appropriate times, meaningful symbols, etc.
To pray the O Antiphons as they are prayed in the Divine Office, begin with the Antiphon, then pray the Magnificat (included below), then repeat the Antiphon.
It would be wonderful if perhaps one parent can chant, or at least read, the Antiphons in Latin, with the second parent reading them in the vernacular afterwards. To hear them chanted (MP3 files), 1 click the speaker icon; to see the musical notation, click the musical note.
My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord / Magnificat
The O Antiphons are the source of the lyrics of the Advent song "Veni, veni Emmanuel" ("Come, O come Emmanuel") which you can hear by clicking here. It would be beautiful for the family to sing this lovely Advent song at the conclusion of the O Antipons. For the lyrics, see the Lyrics and Melodies to Traditional Catholic Hymns page.
To download the O Antiphons and Magnificat, in both English and Latin, for use in your home, click here for a 2-page Microsoft Word document that has all you need.
Praying your last few days of Advent are blessed ones as the excitment builds to the celebration of the birth of Jesus.