As a school we will gather in the gym for prayer services during Advent on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This year our focus will be the Jesse Tree. Each class will create ornaments during homeroom or religion class after reading and discussing the holy person. One ornament from each class will be added during each service. On our last day of school before Christmas each child will bring home a crown of their ornaments. You are encouraged to reinforce our religion lessons at home during Advent.
Advent Prayer Service Plans
December 4 We will talk about Advent and explain the Jesse Tree. We will bless our
school's Jesse Tree at this time.
December 6 Adam and Eve - The symbol is an apple and snake.
December 8 Liturgy in Church - Feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 11Noah - The symbol is a rainbow and the ark. December 13Moses - The symbol is the Ten Commandments.
December 15 Jonah - The symbol is a whale.
December 18 John the Baptist - The symbol is a lion.
December 20 Joseph - The symbol is carpenter tools.
December 20 Mary - The symbol is Mary with the Baby Jesus.
December 22 Jesus - The symbol is a star.
Jesse Tree Symbols - Most of the ones we are using in school are based on these patterns.
Scripture Suggestions for Each Symbol (Other People also listed):
December Jesse - 1 Samuel 16:1-13 and Isaiah 11:1-9
Matthew 1:1-17 List of the ancestors of Jesus.
December 3 Adam and Eve - Genesis 3: 1-15
December 5 Noah - Genesis 6:5 - 22, 7, 8, 9:1-17
Abraham Genesis 12: 1-3; 18: 1-5 Abraham and Isaac - Genesis 22:1-18
Joseph - Genesis 37-46
December 10 Moses - Exodus 19, 20:1-21
December 12 Jonah - Jonah 2:1 - 3:10
David - 1 Samuel 16, 17:1-50, and Psalm 23
December 14 John the Baptist - Luke 1: 5 - 25, 57-66, 3: 1-20
December 17 Joseph - Matthew 1:18-21 and Genesis 37:3, 48:8-16
December 19 Mary - Isaiah 7:14 and Luke 1:46-55, 2:1-19
December 21 Jesus - Luke 2:1-20
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.
Some Internet Links for Adults that may be useful:
Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas
RCA version of Jesse Tree devotions
Animated Version of the Jesse Tree
Suggests Readings and Symbols
Suggests Readings and Symbols
Liturgical Schedule for Advent 2007
Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year in the Catholic Church, is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas. It was historically known as "little Lent," because, like Lent, it is a time of repentance, with prayer, fasting, and Confession.
Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas, and therefore varies in length between 22 days and 28 days. (In 2007, it is 23 days long.) The following is a list of the dates of the Sundays and major feast days that fall in Advent 2007.
First Sunday of Advent (Sunday, December 2, 2007)
Feast of Saint Nicholas (Thursday, December 6, 2007)
Immaculate Conception (Saturday, December 8, 2007) Holy Day of Obligation
Second Sunday of Advent (Sunday, December 9, 2007)
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Wednesday, December 12, 2007)
Feast of Saint Lucy (Thursday, December 13, 2007)
Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) (Sunday, December 16, 2007)
Fourth Sunday of Advent (Sunday, December 23, 2007)
Christmas Eve (Monday, December 24, 2007)
Christmas (Tuesday, December 25, 2007) Holy Day of Obligation