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How to bless a Christmas tree

FAMILY WITH CHRISTMAS TREE
Stephen Lux | Cultura Creative
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After you get your Griswold-sized tree into the living room, give it a little Christmas blessing.

There is nothing like finding the perfect Christmas tree. Clark Griswold humorously sums up the fabled tradition in Christmas Vacation.

What we’re looking for today is the Griswold family Christmas tree … This is what our forefathers did. They walked out into the woods, picked out that special tree and they cut it down with their bare hands … This tree is a symbol of the spirit of the Griswold family Christmas … (Dad, did you bring a saw?)

So after you strap that marvelous tree onto the top of your car and somehow get it into your house, what’s the first thing you should do? Well, why not bless it (before it breaks everything in your house)?

The Church provides a few options for how to bless a Christmas tree. The USCCB has a full rite that can be performed by a member of the family and includes this final prayer before adding the final lights.

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.

There is another blessing, a little older, that can also be said by a member of the family and is found here. This prayerful rite ends with the following prayer and a sprinkling of holy water (so pray this one before adding electric lights!).

Holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God, Who hast caused Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, to be planted like a tree of life in Thy Church, by being born of the most Holy Virgin Mary, bless, we beseech Thee, this tree that all who see it may be filled with a holy desire to be ingrafted as living branches into the same Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of ” the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen. [Tree is sprinkled with holy water]

When you get your Christmas tree this year, turn the popular family tradition into a holy event for the whole family by blessing the tree and asking for God’s many graces to descend on your “warm embrace of kith and kin” (as Clark Griswold would put it).

Tags:
Christmas
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