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Advent Smidgens and the Blessing of a Christmas Tree

I love the season of Advent and there are so many lovely Advent traditions out there!

We don’t have to try to be super-woman and get in every one of these customs. I am in a different phase of life and have more time for these things. We have just picked up the puppet show again after many years of being too busy.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with busy-ness by adding too many pressures to measure up and be Advent Queen but DO spend your time on making Advent special and meaningful. Pick a few choice traditions and try to stick to them consistently each year.

Here are a couple of pictures of our St. Nicholas Puppet Show this year. The kids (and adults) loved it…there were more adults present than children. 🙂

The pictures below show  what happens when we ask the guys to make the Advent wreaths. Aren’t they unique?!

The first one is made up of round pieces of a tree trunk nailed together to make ‘steps” the candles can rest on. Little holes are drilled so the greens can be popped in and out easily. The second one is a rectangular block of wood with the holes drilled in it for the candles. The greens from the Christmas tree are then just laid on it. Purple ribbon is used for accent and….voila! You have a lovely advent “wreath”!

The following is a blessing of the Christmas tree led by the father of the house which was written in the 1950’s. I thought it was very beautiful and we have incorporated the custom this year! We also put up our Christmas tree WAY earlier than usual and made it into an Advent tree until we decorate it closer to Christmas.

The Blessing of a Christmas Tree:

by Helen McLoughlin

Sometime in the evening the tree is blessed by the father of the family, and afterwards the festive lights are lit for the first time. The following form may be used for the blessing.

FATHER: O God, come to my assistance.

ALL: O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father
and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the
beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen.

FATHER: Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the
Lord, for He comes.

ALL: Sing to the Lord a new song; * sing to the Lord, all you
lands.

FATHER: Sing to the Lord; bless his name; * announce his
salvation day after day.

ALL: Tell his glory among the nations; * among all peoples,
his wondrous deeds.

FATHER: For great is the Lord and highly to be praised; *
awesome is he, beyond all gods.

ALL: Splendor and majesty go before him; * praise and
grandeur are in his sanctuary.

FATHER: Give to the Lord, you families of nations, give to the
Lord glory and praise; * give to the Lord the glory due
his name!

ALL: Bring gifts, and enter His courts; * worship the Lord in
holy attire.

FATHER: Tremble before him, all the earth; * say among the
nations: the Lord is king.

ALL: Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the
sea and what fills it resound; * let the plains be joyful
and all that is in them!

FATHER: Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the
Lord, for he comes; * for he comes to rule the earth.

ALL: He shall rule the world with justice * and the peoples
with his constancy.

FATHER: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy
Spirit.

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, *
world without end. Amen.

FATHER: Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the
Lord, for He comes.

MOTHER: Lesson from Isaias the Prophet. Thus saith the Lord: The land that was desolate and impassable shall be glad, and the wilderness shall rejoice and shall flourish like the lily. It shall bud forth and blossom, and shall rejoice with joy and praise: the glory of Libanus is given to it: the beauty of Carmel, and Saron, they shall see the glory of the Lord and the beauty of our God.

ALL: Thanks be to God.

FATHER: And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of
Jesse

ALL: And a flower shall rise up out of his root.

FATHER: O Lord, hear my prayer.

ALL: And let my cry come to You.

FATHER: Let us pray. O God, who hast made this most holy night to shine forth with the brightness of the True Light, deign to bless this tree (sprinkles it with holy water) which we adorn with lights in honor of Him who has come to enlighten us who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. And grant that we upon whom is poured the new light of Thy Word made flesh may show forth in our actions that which by faith shines in our minds. Through Christ our Lord.

ALL: Amen.

Besides the historical explanation given above, there are of course many beautiful legends and much symbolism behind the Christmas tree.

The Christmas tree is a sign of the great Tree of the Cross; it is noble because it is by a tree that the whole world has been redeemed.

The splendor of the Christmas tree reminds us of the redemption of even the material creation by Christ–and recalls the lovely legend that all the trees on earth blossomed forth on Christmas night. And the evergreen is traditional for the Christmas tree, for it reminds us of the everlasting life that Christ won through His Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection.

Check out my Finer Femininity Maglet here

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