Friday, December 6, 2013

Blessing of Christmas Tree in the Home

To help make your preparation for Christmas more meaningful, here is a prayer of blessing for the Christmas tree as it is officially illuminated:

All make the sign of the cross as the leader says:   Blessed be the name of the Lord.

All reply: Now and for ever.     

One of those present reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example:  Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the apostle Paul to Titus (3:4-7):  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.

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.
Ezekiel 17:22-24—I will plant a tender shoot on the mountain heights of Israel.

 The leader of prayer says the following prayer:    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. All: Amen.

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. All: Amen.  

Conclude with the Sign of the Cross. 

Prayer adapted from: Book of Blessings by Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops' Conferences, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1989