Putting up the Christmas Tree
The use of the Christmas tree is relatively modern. Its origins are found in the medieval mystery plays that depicted the tree of paradise and the Christmas light or candle that symbolised Christ, the Light of the world.
According to custom, the Christmas tree is set up just before Christmas and may remain in place until the Solemnity of Epiphany (Jan 6th). The lights of the tree are lit after the prayer of blessing.
When the tree has been decorated, the household gathers around it. All make the Sign of the Cross.
This tree is a blessing to our home. It reminds us of all that is beautiful, all that is filled with the gentleness and the promise of God. It stands in our midst as a tree of light, that we might promise such beauty to one another and to our world. It stands like that tree of paradise that God made into the tree of life, the cross of Jesus.
God of all creation,
we praise you for this tree which brings beauty and memories and the promise of life to our home.
May your blessing be upon all who gather around this tree,
all who keep the Christmas festival by its lights.
We wait for the coming of the Christ, the days of everlasting justice and of peace.
You are our God, living and reigning, for ever and ever.
The lights of the tree are then turned on.