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Jesse Tree-an Advent Tradition

Holy Land Pilgrimage 2016


The Jesse Tree: An Advent Tradition 



Advent - Jesse Tree- Meredith GouldThe Jesse Tree is a centuries-old family Advent devotion that has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in recent years.  It has particular value since it helps both kids and adults a like to locate Jesus, the Messiah, within the lineage of the shepherd boy who became King of Israel--David, son of Jesse.


The whole idea of the Jesse Tree comes right out of a classic Advent passage from the prophet Isaiah: "A shoot will sprout from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit" (Isaiah 11:1).  The Jesse Tree is hung with ornaments representing Old Testament people and events and lead up to Jesus.  The traditional symbols hung on the tree are based on the genealogy of Jesus as reccounted by the first chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew.


Set up a tree or branches with or without leaves.  For the ornaments, you can either buy a Jesse Tree kit or just craft them yourself (scroll to the bottom of this page for traditional ornament list).  Traditionally, there is one ornament for each day of Advent.  You start at the base of the tree with Adam and Eve.  At the top of the tree at the very end of the season comes a crib representing the baby Jesus.  There's a brief scripture reading for every symbol (see below).  If you read these readings and contemplate them and the symbols to which they are linked, by December 25th you and your family will have a much deeper understanding of the history of salvation and the meaning of Christmas!


(the material for this page comes to you in large part thanks to Meredith Gould, author of The Catholic Home.  For more great ideas for celebrating Advent, Christmas, and other seasons and feasts in your home, get a copy of her wonderful book--Dr. D'Ambrosio)


For more Advent readings be sure to check out the advent and Christmas Library, Click Here!

Some special articles you will find there are:

O Antiphons

Blessing of a Christmas Tree

Blessing of a Nativity


Download and Print and Share!

Click here to download and print The Jesse Tree!


For more Catholic resources to feed your faith, visit the Crossroads Initiative Homepage.


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From a Catholic Home - this a chart for the Jesse Tree Symbols -

The World is Created Globe Genesis 1:24-28

Adam and Eve Snake and Apples Genesis 3:1-24

Noah and the Flood Rainbow Genesis 6:11-22; 86-12; 9:11-17

Abraham Camel Genesis 12:1-7:13:2-18; 18:1

Sarah Baby Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7

Isaac Ram Genesis 22:1-14

Jacob Ladder Genesis 27:41-28:22

Joseph Multicolored Coat Genesis 37:1-36

Moses Burning Bush Exodus 3:1-10

Miriam Tambourine Exodus 15:19-21

Samuel Lamp 1 Samuel 3:1-21

Jesse Branch Isaiah 11:1

David Harp 1 Samuel 16:14-23

Solomon Crown 1 Kings 3:3-28

Isaiah Throne Isaiah 6:1-8

Jeremiah Tablets of Law Jeremiah 31:31-34

Angels Angel Hebrews 1:1-14

Malachi Trumpet Malachi 3:1-4

Zechariah and Elizabeth Baby - Luke 1:39-45

Mary Angel Luke 1:29-35

John the Baptist River Matthew 3:1-6

Joseph of Nazareth Hammer/Saw Matthew 1:18-25

Bethlehem Star Matthew 2:1-12

Birth of Christ Crib Luke 2:1-7

Catholic Saint DVDs -

Nicholas - Catholic Saint DVDs

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 Friendly Defenders Gift Pack - Vols I and II The Friendly Defenders Catholic Flash Cards VOLs I & II are designed to help you "train up your child" so that they will never stray from God's love and from the Catholic Church our Lord Jesus established. The 50 cards within each packet offer common objections people have to the Catholic faith as well as short, pithy answers to these objections. Questions about God, Jesus, the Bible, the Catholic Church and the Afterlife are covered in Volume 2! Make no mistake, these cards aren't just wonderful gifts for kiddos, but teens and adults alike will flip through them for hours of entertaining education! Order today for special pricing!



Curtis Stephan - Born to Us - Christmas CD

 Catholic Music, Christian Music, Curtis Stephan, Catholic Christmas Celebrate Christmas with Curtis Stephan - 14 Holiday Songs!
"Born to us" Christmas music CD by Curtis Stephan, contemporary Christian Music. Curtis Stephan is a consumate composer, vocalist, and performer who prays his songs so that they raise your mind and heart when you listen.


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