My Lent 2019 Book List Plans

Is this the year you really want to dive into Lent? Do you want to come out of this Lenten Season and truly feel that you've had a small share of living in the desert with Christ for 40 days? I know that I do. Maybe it's an upcoming birthday that's making me have more of a now-or-never type of attitude towards Lent. Or maybe I just acutely feel the necessity of truly modeling this for my children, and living it with my husband. Whatever it is, these are the books and resources I'm going to use this Lent to really LIVE the season from Ash Wednesday all the way through to Easter Vigil. Look them over. If something looks helpful to you, use it. If it inspires you, go with it. I hope all of these bless and encourage you.

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Preparing for the O Antiphons


When Mr. Pete and I reconverted to our Catholic faith, we took baby steps in reclaiming our Catholic heritage and culture. During the Advent/Christmas season, we started by having an Advent Wreath, and progressed to a Jesse Tree, and then finally praying Vespers and the O Antiphons. The antiphons were of particular interest to me as I started to pray the Divine Office. When we had very little children, this is something we did as a couple, but now that my children are older, we can do them as a family.

Each year starting December 17, the Church begins the seven Great "O" Antiphons of the liturgy, that date back to the seventh or eighth century. These antiphons are chanted or recited at Vespers, or Evening Prayer, the Antiphon before the Magnificat. They are also the Alleluia verse at the Mass. Each antiphon begins with "O" and include a different Scriptural image through the Old Testament, all imploring the Messiah to come.

When my budding artist, Izzy, was ten years old, she decorated these wooden disks to commemorate the O Antiphons.  She updated them last year when she was 16 and will probably do them again next year. As her ability and talents grow, she becomes more dissatisfied with her younger attempts, but I still appreciate them!

As Elsa Chaney in Twelve Days of Christmas states, "

The theme of the Advent season has been one of joyous expectancy
as the Church, in vigilant preparation, waited and watched for
the first signs of the coming of the Lord. The very name Advent,
and the Masses of the four Sundays with their urgent plea to
Christ to "hasten and delay not" have reminded us that we are
awaiting His coming in grace at Christmas, and in glory at the
end of time. On the evening of December 17 the last and most intensive phase
of Advent preparation begins.
On this evening is inaugurated the
first of the Great "O's" of Advent. The "O Antiphons" are seven
jewels of liturgical song, one for each day until Christmas Eve.
They seem to sum up all our Advent longing as they paint in vivid
terms the wretched condition of mankind and his need of a Savior.

Addressing Christ with seven magnificent titles, they beg Him
with mounting impatience to come to save His people. The "O Antiphons" are intoned
with special solemnity in monasteries at the Vesper Hour, before and after our Lady's
great song of thanksgiving, the Magnificat, which is sung every evening
as the climax of this Hour of the Divine Office.

Father Saunders explains the O Antiphons very clearly here along with the appropriate scripture.

The importance of “O Antiphons” is twofold: Each one 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.

Below is each antiphon and a bit about each meaning with a link to ways my family has celebrated them in the past! I love the connection food has in celebration in the liturgical year. It helps everyone remember what the antiphon focuses on and it helps us to focus on a different aspect of preparing to meet Jesus in His nativity.

December 17:

O antiphon for December 17. Wisdom o holy word of God.
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!

O Sapientia, quæ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiæ.

In the past we've had chocolate for the "sweetly" part but we have also had a fish dinner because fish is brain food and that goes with wisdom!

December 18:


O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammæ rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento

O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.

On this night we have our favorite Buffalo Chicken Dip - aka Hot Spicy Chicken Dip. It has just enough burn in it to remind us of the burning bush!

It's also a good night to re-read the story of Moses and the burning bush- this scene is one of my favorites

December 19
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.

 O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem Gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

Root beer floats for desert tonight after our beet stew with lots of root vegetables like carrots and potatoes!

December 20


O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel; qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

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.

Come, and deliver him from the chains of prison who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death (Ps 107: 10).

A delicious and easy keylime pie for dinner tonight.  I also found these sweet key chains from Tiny to give out tonight as a special gift.  I chose the Our Lady of Fatima chains since this is the 100 year anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima and I want to keep reminding my children and myself of this special anniversary. Special thanks to Shower of Roses for that idea!

December 21

O Oriens: “O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shown.” (9:1).

O Rising Dawn (O Oriens): O Rising Dawn, Radiance of the Light eternal and Sun of Justice; Come, enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.

Eggs - sunny side up of course

Also we usually make a nice orange sherbert punch as way to cheer the land of gloom and a reminder of the light.

December 22


O Rex Gentium: “O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.” Isaiah had prophesied, “For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” (9:5), and “He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.” (2:4) .

King Ranch Casserole is on the menu for this evening.   This recipe uses a grain free version. 

December 23

O Emmanuel: “O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The Lord himself will give you this sign: the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.”

(7:14). Remember “Emmanuel” means “God is with us.”

Nothing special planned for this night except to stay together as a family - watch a movie, play a game or just talk.

Father Saunders explains the O Antiphons very clearly here along with the appropriate scripture.

The symbols of the antiphons and explanation here via Catholic Culture

Here are some delightful crafts and antiphon activities!

Catholic Icing

Antiphon Guide from O Night Divine!

Just Another Day In Paradise: O Antiphon Activities

“O Antiphon” House « Our Domestic Church

By Sun and Candleight o' Antiphon House

Heart of My Home

Shower of Roses and also here

St. Athanasias Academy

O Antiphon activities!

Jesse Tree Treasures

O'Night Divine - the symbols, the prayers, and links for the O Antiphons!

Fisheaters has the actual chants in Latin for download!

Tons of good resources at Illuminated Ink!

Elsa Chaney's Twelve Days of Christmas FREE on EWTN


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