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Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

O Key of David - Tonight's O Antiphon

"O My Goodness!"
“Oh Good Lord!”
“Oh No!”
“O Holy Night!”
That tiny one syllable word, “O” certainly packs a lot of emotion and emphasis into a little space. When one cries out, “O” (or “OH!” as I think we see it spelled in more contemporary writing), it usually denotes a strong emotion or feeling that can be either negative (pain, fear, sorrow) or positive (wonder, joy, pleasure).
For the past three nights, the Church has sought to express all of those emotions during the daily readings and Vespers with the “O antiphons.”  The days are short, the nights are long and cold, and our advent sacrifices and Christmas preparations often seem endless and at times insurmountable. So as a people, we cry out to Jesus in all of his many titles – O Wisdom, O Lord, O Root of Jessie… and tonight: O Key of David!
As a young girl, I remember my children’s Bible illustrating the gates of heaven being closed and locked after the original sin of Adam and Eve. That same Bible showed the love of Jesus as the key to unlocking that gate and opening heaven to all those who believe.
O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: come, and lead forth the captive who sits in the shadows from his prison.
As we sojourn onward towards those open gates of heaven, we can take the opportunity to ask Jesus to unlock our hearts and minds, to love him and know him better, and to free ourselves from the prison of our own sins – even the little sins that only we are aware of. Tonight especially, we ask Jesus to be the key that opens the hearts and minds of our husbands and children as we truly strive for wisdom and yet ask for humility while we await His birth in just a few short nights.
"O Key of David - Tonight's O Antiphon" by Elena LaVictoire (
Copyright 2016 Elena LaVictoire. All rights reserved.

For a number of years now, my family and I have enjoyed a special treat to help us remember all of the O antiphons. Tonight we will have a special Key Lime Pie. It sounds a little corny, but after doing this for so many years the kids really do remember the antiphons this way, and Key of David is especially popular! One year I made a little ornament from small keys for the Christmas tree, to be hung on this night. This year I found some little key chains to give to my children for this evening as a little sentimental gift. Then after our treat, and the exchange of this very tiny pre-Christmas gift, we will say the Vespers together as a family, and prepare to step from the shadows and darkness of our own little prisons, and accept the key of Christ’s love to re-open a whole new life in Him.
May these last few days of Advent bless you all abundantly!

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