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A Liturgy for Setting Up a Christmas Tree–Every Moment Holy


As the manic pace of the holiday season picks up, it is easy to miss the meaning behind our most familiar traditions. To help focus your celebration this season, we offer you the following prayer from Douglas McKelvey's Every Moment Holy: New Liturgies for Daily Life, a liturgy rich with Advent hope and Christmas joy.


Print a free copy courtesy of Rabbit Room Press. Better yet, order your own copy of this beautiful book for more liturgies, including ones for feasting with friends, changing diapers, feeling road rage, and welcoming a new pet.


LEADER: O Immanuel, we would find in our traditions these reminders of the wonders of your love: First, let this fragrant tree, cut down and then raised beneath our roof, remind us how once upon a time, the High King of Heaven consented to be cut off from the glories that were his birthright, and descended instead to dwell with us in a broken world, beset by harm and evil.

PEOPLE: Praise to you, Immanuel!

Next, let the hard wood of the trunk and the outstretched branches remind us how that same Heavenly King who had entered our world on that distant night, would soon act to redeem his creation and his people in it, though it would require the stretching out of his arms upon a cross of wood— his death for our life.

Praise to you, Immanuel!

Then, let these evergreen boughs be a reminder of his mighty triumph over death and hell, of his resurrection unto a life eternal which will never fade— an eternal life which he has also secured for us. There is no greater gift!

Praise to you, Immanuel!

Finally, as we drape the branches of this Christmas tree in glittering finery and sparkling lights, let us imagine Christ our King, seated upon his heavenly throne, arrayed in the royal raiments of his glory. And when at last we set the star atop the tree, let us imagine Christ crowned in his splendor, and all creatures in heaven and on earth bowing before him, crying “Holy! Holy! Holy!”

Glory to you, Immanuel! Worthy are you, O Lamb of God, to receive all glory, honor, and praise! Glory to you, Lord Christ!

Copyright © 2017 Douglas McKelvey

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