Scripture Suggestions for Each Symbol
- 1 Samuel 16:1-13 and Isaiah 11:1-9  
-  Matthew 1:1-17  List of the ancestors of Jesus.
- Suggestion symbol - a tree

Adam and Eve - Genesis 3:  1-15
- Suggested symbol is an apple and snake.

Noah - Genesis 6:5 - 22, 7, 8, 9:1-17
- Suggested  symbol is a rainbow and the ark.
Abraham Genesis 12: 1-3; 18: 1-5 
- Suggested symbol is a field of stars

Abraham and Isaac - Genesis 22:1-18
- Isaac's symbol could be a ram

Jacob and Esau — Genesis 25:19-34; 27
Jacob's Vision of God — Genesis 28:10-22
Jacob Returns to the Land of His Fathers — Genesis 31-33
Joseph -  Genesis 37-46
Symbol could be a ladder

Joseph and his Brothers — Genesis 37
Joseph and Pharaoh — Genesis 39-41
Joseph and His Brothers Are Reconciled — Genesis 42-45
Symbol could either be grain of the Coat of Many Colors

Moses - Exodus 19, 20:1-21
- The symbol is the Ten Commandments.

Jonah - Jonah 2:1 - 3:10
- The symbol is a whale.

David -  1 Samuel 16, 17:1-50, and Psalm 23
The Young David — 1 Samuel 16-17
David and Jonathan — 1 Samuel 18
Saul and David — 1 Samuel 24; 28
David the King — 2 Samuel 5-6
David, Bathsheba, and Nathan — 2 Samuel 11-12
David's Later Years — 2 Samuel 19-24
Symbol could be a shepherd's crook or a harp

John the Baptist - Luke 1: 5 - 25, 57-66, 3: 1-20
- The symbol is a lion.

Joseph - Matthew 1:18-21 and Genesis 37:3, 48:8-16
- The symbol is carpenter tools.

Mary - Isaiah 7:14 and Luke 1:46-55, 2:1-19
- The symbol is Mary with the Baby Jesus.

Jesus - Luke 2:1-20
- The symbol is a star.

Some Internet Links for Adults that may be useful:
Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas

RCA version of Jesse Tree devotions

Jesse Tree Symbols

Summary of Jesse Tree with examples of Daily Readings

Animated Version of the Jesse Tree

Suggests Readings and Symbols

Suggests Readings and Symbols

Printable Booklet

Square Ornaments with Biblical Reference

Smaller Square Ornaments

Jesse Tree e-book to download

Jesse Tree Introduction
This page was last updated: November 29, 2016
Background Information:
A Jesse Tree basically shows the history of Jesus Christ's family tree. This tree helps us to remember that Christ is why we celebrate Christmas. You can create a Jesse Tree at home by using a small evergreen tree (artificial or real), bare branch set in a sturdy pot, or a wallhanging made of felt, posterboard or wood. Every night during Advent, you can place a new symbol on the tree. Then read the Scripture verse and explain the significance in Salvation History.

The representation of the Tree of Jesse is based upon the prophecy of Isaiah 11:1-2:

"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord.."

Based on Matthew 1, we can see Jesus Christ's family tree is frequently shown in the form of a tree which springs from Jesse, the father of David, and bears as its fruit the various ancestors of Christ.

The symbols on the Jesse Tree help to create a  "family tree" of Christ, since each ornament is a symbol of an ancestor or of a prophecy which foretells his coming.

Some of the symbols included are the sun, the tablets of the Law, the key of David, Bethlehem, the root of Jesse, Noah's ark, the Ark of the Covenant, the altar of holocaust, the apple, the Paschal Lamb, the pillar of fire, manna, the star of David, Jacob's ladder, Jonah in the whale, the Temple, the crown and the scepter, the sword of Judith, and the burning bush.

The Jesse Tree was an early form of design for the stained glass windows of great cathedrals, such as Chartres. In the portrayal of the descent of Christ from the line of David, there may be as few as four or five figures or as many as fifty. The twisting branches of the tree always start with Jesse and end at the top with Christ.
Introduction By Holy Heroes