In the last eight days of advent, the Church uses the O Antiphons during the Liturgy of the Hours. The symbols for these last Jesse tree patterns from December 17 to 23 are based on the O Antiphons. I mentioned I would tell you some interesting facts about the O Antiphons earlier. When the Benedictine monks developed the O Antiphons they put them in a special order. Each of the antiphons refer to a prophecy of Isaiah, as I mentioned earlier. The O Antiphons are so amazing because the first letter of each one creates a meaningful acronym.
Professor Robert Greenberg of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music says that the Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons purposefully. Take the first letter of the last title of each antiphon: Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia. When you spell it out the Latin words ero cras are formed. Ero Cras means: “Tomorrow, I will come.” So the antiphons bring a special meaning to advent in two very special ways.
Each Antiphon Highlights a Title for Jesus, the Messiah:
O Sapientia: “O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” (11:2-3), and “Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom.” (28:29).O Adonai: “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.” Isaiah had prophesied, “But He shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.” (11:4-5); and “Indeed the Lord will be there with us, majestic; yes the Lord our judge, the Lord our lawgiver, the Lord our king, he it is who will save us.” (33:22).
O Radix Jesse: “O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.” Isaiah had prophesied, “But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.” (11:1), and A On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.” (11:10). Remember also that Jesse was the father of King David, and Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of the house and lineage of David and be born in David’s city, Bethlehem (Micah 5:1).
O Clavis David: “O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of Heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.” Isaiah had prophesied, AI will place the Key of the House of David on His shoulder; when he opens, no one will shut, when he shuts, no one will open.” (22:22), and “His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David’s throne, and over His kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever.” (9:6).
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 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) .
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.”
Download my free clip art Jesse tree patterns to share with your children. I am happy to share them with you. If you like my patterns feel free to link to them and to share them with your friends and family. It is free to use and distribute as long as you do not attempt to sell them.
New in 2013:
I would love to hear from folks who use my free Jesse tree patterns for their Jesse tree advent calendar. Let me know how you used them. Are you on Pinterest? If you post your Jesse tree advent calendar on your board be sure to follow me. I will follow you back and repin your calendar. I would love to see all the creative craft projects that were made from my free Jesse tree advent patterns. Got any ideas for additional Jesse tree ornament patterns? Let me know! I will add to the collection for everyone to share.
I’m also doing Elf on the Shelf with my kids this year as a fun nightly activity. If you’d like to take a look at my free Elf on the Shelf message signs, visit Elf on the Shelf ideas: Download Free Message Signs for Your Elf too.