Advent: Blessing the Christmas tree

Advent traditions vary but the reasons remain the same: to prepare our hearts for welcoming God's gift of light and love, his son Jesus. Here is one idea to help connect a visual symbol to the message of the season....


The use of the Christmas tree is relatively modern. Its origins are found in the medieval mystery plays which depicted the tree of paradise and the Christmas light or candle which symbolized Christ, the Light of the world. We see the evergreen tree as a reminder also of God's everlasting love for us.


According to custom, the Christmas tree is set up just before Christmas and remains in place until the solemnity of Epiphany. Whether the tree is in a home or in the church we like the tradition of a tree blessing after the tree is decorated and before the tree is illuminated. Here are two suggestions:


Lord God,
let your blessing come upon us
as we illumine this tree.
May the light and cheer it gives
be a sign of the joy that fills our hearts.
May all who delight in this tree
come to the knowledge and joy of salvation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen

God of all creation,
we thank you for this tree,
which brings beauty
and memories
and the promise of life to our home.

May Your blessings be upon all that gather
Around this tree,
And who keep the Christmas festival by its lights.

We wait for the coming of Christ,
the days of everlasting justice and peace.

You are our God, living and loving,
forever and ever.

Amen
About the pictured stole. This limited edition is a reminder of the folktale story of The Three Trees. At Carrot Top Studio we enjoy creating uniquely themed stoles that help celebrate the church year calendar and draw us closer to God in worship through visual images. 'The Three Trees' stole has sold out but you may go here to see our current collection of ministry overlay stoles and deacon stoles.