Loading
Christmas Tree

The decorating of an evergreen tree at Christmas as we know it can be traced back to an old German custom, and more popularly known, Victorian England. Just as the evergreen wreath symbolizes eternity and fidelity, so the lush evergreen tree can said to represent the same. Scripture is filled with the significance of trees, in both the Old and New Testaments, see the Psalm below. Generally the tree is not decorated until late Christmas Eve as Advent is still a season of penance, if not as filled with sorrow as Lent is. However, some families find the preparation for Mass the next day Christmas dinner to be of such importance that the Christmas Eve is taken up with these preparations, so on the Third Sunday of Advent, they choose to put up the family tree. Certainly the tree should not be up the day after Thanksgiving as is done in so many homes today. Customarily the tree should be adorned with little family treasures and religious symbols. Bright balls and lights are fine also and lend a festive touch especially for children of all ages, as do handmade garlands from natural items, such as popcorn or berries; little birds are very appropriate for the symbolism and dried plants and fruits. The idea of jolly Santas, elves, Christmas puppies in socks, etc., are of more recent development and not appropriate because we are celebrating Jesus' birthday. Many families place the crèche under the tree and gifts, if exchanged, are not placed there until Christmas Day or after Midnight Mass.

Printed with permission from Catholic Tradition.

Ads by Google
(What's this?)

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
17

Liturgical Calendar

April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:1-15

Gospel
Date
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 11:23-26
Gospel:: Jn 13:1-15

Homily of the Day

Jn 13:1-15

Homily
Date
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: