Blessing of the Christmas Tree

READER: The erecting and decorating of Christmas Trees originated in Germany some three hundred years ago, and came to this country during the reign of Queen Victoria. It’s meaning comes from the story of the Fall in the Garden of Eden which we find in the Book of Genesis. It was originally called the ‘Paradise Tree’, symbolising the Tree of Life in the Garden. It was decorated by apples (and we have some apples on our tree), symbolic of the fruit of the tree of Good and Evil that the first Eve and the first Adam ate in disobedience to God. It also carried candles – lights to express the Jesus Light of the World,  Light of Forgiveness scattering the darkness. And it was decorated on Christmas Eve – the traditional Feast of Adam and Eve in the Eastern Church.

So, as we draw close to Christmas Eve, to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Second Adam, gift of the Second Eve, Mary, we put in place the symbols of the First Adam and Eve. This reminds us that Mary’s loving obedience ‘untied the knot’ of Eve’s disobedience, and that Jesus, the New Adam, came to be the One who saves us from the First Adam’s sin. The Tree that brought death is transformed by the Cross of Jesus Christ into the Tree of Everlasting Life. For on Friday, Christmas Day, we do indeed greet the Saviour!

DEACON:              O God, who by the Power of Your Word and Hovering Spirit
                                    did create all things and made them good
                                    and created men and women in your own image and likeness:
                                    pour your blessing upon this Paradise Tree …

PEOPLE:               BLESSED BE GOD!

DEACON:              May it be a sign for us children of Adam of our need of a Saviour
                                    and of the sublime gift of Jesus Christ who recreates us
                                    in the glorious image of the Second Adam …

PEOPLE:                BLESSED BE GOD!

DEACON:              May it be a sign for us of the Tree of the Redeeming Adam, Jesus,
                                    who embraced the Wood of the Cross for our Salvation and Healing …

PEOPLE:                 BLESSED BE GOD!

PRIEST:                   We bless and dedicate, O God, this Tree to your Honour and Glory
that it might shine with Light where once there was darkness,
that it might express the fruit of Redemption
where once sin held the sway,
that it might stand to remind us that Jesus came as the Saviour
who died on the Tree so that the Tree of the Cross might ever give Life

                                                   IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER + AND OF THE SON
                                                                                 AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

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