Bless Your Tree This Advent

While the decorating of a tree and other greens in the midst of winter is a tradition that predates Christianity, Christians from a very early date used the everygreen as a symbol of their faith. Some saw it as a reminder that our first parents were not allowed to eat from one tree, and that Christ paid the great price for our redemption by hanging on a tree (Acts 5:29-32).

One story has St. Boniface in the eighth century giving the balsam fir tree to the Druids in place of the oak tree, the symbol of their idol. He said, “The fir tree is the wood of peace, the sign of an endless life with its evergreen branches. It points to heaven. It will never shelter deeds of blood, but rather be filled with loving gifts and rites of kindness.”

More and more frequently families are blessing their Christmas trees to reclaim this tradition as a sign of their faith in Christ. This is a great opportunity to pray together with your family. Believe it or not, the Church has an official rite of blessing for the Christmas tree that can be led by lay men and women in their homes.


Blessed be the name of the Lord.
All reply:

Now and for ever.1002 One of those present or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example:

Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the apostle Paul to Titus: 3:4-7
His own compassion saved us.

But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

1003 Or:

Genesis 2:4-9 --The tree of life in the center of the garden.
Isaiah 9:1-6 --A son is given to us.

1004 A minister who is a priest or deacon says the prayer of blessing with hands outstretched; a lay minister says the prayer with hands joined.

Lord our God, we praise you for the light of creation: the sun, the moon, and the stars of the night.
We praise you for the light of Israel: the Law, the prophets, and the wisdom of the Scriptures. We praise you for Jesus Christ, your Son: he is Emmanuel, God-with-us, the Prince of Peace, who fills us with the wonder of your love.
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.
R. Amen.

1005 Or:
Holy Lord, we come with joy to celebrate the birth of your Son, who rescued us from the darkness of sin by making the cross a tree of life and light.

May this tree, arrayed in splendor, remind us of the life-giving cross of Christ, that we may always rejoice in the new life that shines in our hearts.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Excerpted from the Shorter Book of Blessings (NY: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1990). Approved for use in the United States by the USCCB and the Holy See.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please include your name when you comment! We like to know who you are!