O Antiphons @ St. Anne’s

Adapted from an article on Our Franciscan Fiat

P1250024Since 1980, the Sisters at St. Anne’s have been enhancing their commemoration of the final days of Advent by displaying “The O Antiphons,” beautifully calligraphed by Sr. Elaine.

At that time, before the advent of modern copy machines, Mary Bohlman Mannes, a friend and supporter of St. Anne’s, had them professionally re-produced/printed.

Sunday was the first day of this beautiful liturgical tradition during which we display her beautiful portrayals outside of our chapel.

In case you are not familiar with the “O Antiphons,” they are verses which we recite or sing for the gospel canticle during evening prayer as well as with the alleluia at Mass from December 17th through the 23rd.  On each of these days, we plead for Christ’s coming, invoking Him with a different title.  These are so beautiful and include: Wisdom, Leader of the House of Israel, Root of Jesse’s stem, Key of David, Radiant Dawn, King of all nations and keystone of the Church, and Emmanuel.

This tradition of using these antiphons on these final days before Christmas is very old.  We aren’t certain as to their exact origin, but references date back about 1,500 years!

The traditional hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” actually is based upon these beautiful, rich, and ancient texts.

Thank you, Sr. Elaine, for giving us such a beautiful visual presentation of them!

May these last days of Advent, in which we cry out “O come…” be a time when our hearts can be more prepared for the Advent that we seek.

Sr. Christina M. Neumann

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Chocolate Stars @ St. Anne’s

St. Nicholas brought, among other things, a bag of “chocolate stars” to Sr. Christina last Tuesday night.

Rather than let them “go to waist,” she decided to make some cookies with our ladies as a “therapeutic baking” project Saturday morning.

20914533_10211463549918135_8869111455869622302_nAfter searching for just the right recipe to correspond with the ingredients we had available and the amount of chocolates to be used, one was selected, residents interested in baking were gathered, and the measuring and mixing began.

It came to be time for lunch, however, and the domestic undertaking had to be relinquished temporarily, with a promise to resume around 12:30 p.m.

When the time came to roll out the cookies, there was a minor obstacle: all the sugar on hand in the activities kitchen had been used in the dough.  The container had not yet been refilled in the main kitchen, and more sugar was needed for coating the cookies before placing them on the sheets.

A trip was made to the main kitchen, however, and the cookie factory could resume operations.

In accord with the recipe, the cookies were baked for 10 minutes, then pulled out and inserted with one chocolate star each before going back into the oven for a few more minutes.

One of the other residents, who was watching TV in the adjoining activity room kept commenting on how good the cookies smelled and asking when they would be served.

IMG_0937Sr. Christina finally gave in and handed him one early, before snack time.  (By the time snacks were being served after reading hour, he was ready for another one.)

* * *

Whether or not you have chocolate stars on hand which you don’t want to have “go to waist,” you might consider this recipe for an attractive holiday treat:



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