I love traditions!
Growing up as number 4 I had the blessing of a family life well established with traditions.
Traditions for birthdays, Lent, Easter, Saint namesake feasts, Advent, Christmas…. each year marked out by treasured memories!
Creating traditions is therefore one of my most favorite aspects of parenthood! And discovering NEW old traditions, especially when it comes to our Catholic Faith…. well I’m like a child in a candy store!!!
This year is the first year we will be adding the O Antiphons into our Advent traditions! (squeal!! :) )
In the evening prayer of the Church called Vespers, the beautiful prayer “The Magnificat” (Luke 1:46-55) is preceded by an antiphon. In the 7 days leading up to Christmas, these antiphons all start with “O”. These beautiful antiphons find their origin in the Monastery’s of the 6th/7th centuries. They reflect the words of Isaiah anticipating the coming of the Messiah, crying out from the wilderness through time and into our hearts and homes. They are also the verses we commonly know from the Advent hymn “O Come O Come Emmanuel”.….. Ah Ha! I hear you say :)
Each of the O Antiphons highlights a different 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!
There are so many ways to add these beautiful prayers into our Advent celebrations and so many great resources online! As we are only beginning this year, I’m trying to not be too ambitious! :)
DECEMBER 17th – DAY ONE – “O WISDOM”
O Wisdom…. how we all need the Wisdom of God!
King Solomon knew that Wisdom was greater than any treasure he could ask for.
“Come and teach us the way of prudence”
Prayer: I have downloaded and printed out this great prayer companion from Family, Feast and Feria which we will pray tonight at dinner time. We will also listen to these beautiful audio tracks of the antiphons being sung…. not to mention listen to “O Come O Come Emmanuel”…. here is one of my favorite versions… LISTEN HERE
Decoration: Red Poinsetta table cloth, Advent wreath, colouring in sheet (from Michele Quigley)
Gift: Catholic Prayer book – I have some pretty amazing ladies who I know through online groups and they enjoy making prayer card images which they share with us all. I was able to take these beautiful prayers and put them together in a Diamond Photo 6 x 4 photo book. Each of the children received one this morning as their “O Wisdom” gift.
Food: I’ve heard sheep’s brains have been served as an option for today…. firstly I don’t think I could handle cooking them and secondly I think only Curly Sue would be brave enough to try them, seeing that she is my Lambs kidney fan!
So I’ve gone for a safer option and have made a version of my Date & Almond cocoa balls. I figured dates are rich in Selenium which is good for your brain and the almonds are a good source of protein :). Wisdom balls they are!
Recipe for “Wisdom Balls”
- 1 packet of pitted dates chopped (I use scissors)
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3 tbsps honey
- ground almonds ( I free pour this so it will make sense soon!)
1. Put chopped dates, water and vanilla into a saucepan and heat slowly until the mixture becomes completely mushy
2. Take off heat and add cocoa powder and honey. Stir until completely combined.
3. Now add ground almonds until you have a stiff enough dough to make into little balls.
4. Wet your hands (this helps them not get too sticky) and roll into balls.
5. Roll in ground almond or leave as is.
5. Refrigerate until firm.
Have a blessed day!!!!