Inspired by Katherine at A Living Education we made our O Antiphons shadow box house last week. She asked others to share their finished pictures, so here is ours. Using the basic style we made a couple adaptations. In the top area we used miniature figurines. The picture shows the baby Jesus present but we have removed Him and will wait to put Him in the scene on the evening of the 24th. In the extra alcove on the left is a background listing the various names by which Jesus is known. There is also a sprig of fresh rosemary in the alcove and oh, it smells so heavenly.
From Fr. Francis X. Weiser’s, The Christmas Book, explaining the use of rosemary in connection with Christmas.
The Rosemary — This delicate plant has been connected with Christmas since time immemorial. According to an old legend it was honored by God in reward for the humble service which it offered to Mary and her Child. On the way to Egypt, so the charming story goes, Mary washed the tiny garments of Jesus and spread them over a rosemary bush to dry in the sun. Since then the rosemary has delighted man by its delicate fragrance.
I debated between different possible plants/flowers and decided on rosemary, but poinsettias, holly, ivy, evergreens, mistletoe could all be used. I liked the idea of having something physical in the alcoves and engaging more of the senses – in this case smell.
One of the aspects of the O Antiphons that most intriqued me is how the first letter of the titles in Latin: Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia—spell out Latin words ERO CRAS, meaning, “Tomorrow, I come.” So we incorporated that into the box. Over the front of the right hand alcove is a gold ribbon with each of the letters which spell out ERO CRAS. They are cardstock squares with a small piece of wire on the back to make a hook. I have them all off now and they will be added one at a time (they hook into the ribbon) from the bottom up according to the corresponding day. So on the 23rd it will give us the message, “Tomorrow, I come.”
We are so looking forward to using this house in the final days of Advent.