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Catholic Activity: O Antiphon Tree Decorations

Instructions on how to make some Christmas tree decorations with the symbols of "O" Antiphons.

DIRECTIONS

Decorations for the Christmas tree, itself a symbol of the tree of life, can be made from paper or cookie dough, with simple patterns designed for the "O" antiphons. The "O" antiphons are the introductory verses taken from the Divine Office for the last seven days before Christmas. They call out to Christ in words of the Old Testament, bidding Him hurry and come. We can use the "O" antiphons with our night prayers during this last week of Advent. Here are some suggestions for the symbols.

O Wisdom — a triangle for the Trinity, eternal seat of wisdom. O Adonai — a flame for the burning bush from which God spoke to Moses. O Root of Jesse — a simple flower recalling that Jesus is the son of David, son of Jesse. O Key of David — a key, for Christ, the key to salvation. O Rising Dawn — a sun with flames for Christ, sun of justice. O King of the Gentiles — a crown to show Christ is king of all men. O Emmanuel — a manger, because Emmanuel means God-with-us.

The symbols may be cut from construction paper (double-thickness for sturdiness), decorated with paint, ink, or glitter, and hung from the tree by a thread. They will provide a rich conversation piece during all the Christmas season. The cookies may be cut from paper patterns in the different shapes, or the symbols may be painted with vegetable coloring (as above) on round cookies, in which a hole is cut before baking. After serving as Christmas tree decorations, they are eventually eaten. And this could recall the spirit of the psalmist when he wrote: "Taste and see how good the Lord is." (Psalm 33:9).

Activity Source: Homemade Christians by Mary Reed Newland, George A. Pflaum, Dayton, Ohio, 1964

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