Looking for a meaningful way to celebrate Advent with your family? Creating and decorating a Jesse Tree is the perfect excuse to come together and learn more about Jesus’ family history.
Sydney Catholic Schools are running the iLight2020 program inviting you to join them on a journey of preparation for Christ with a Jesse Tree. Make sure to check this Sydney Catholic Schools iLight page regularly for updates and videos from families and parishes.
Each time we put a new symbol on the tree, we can take time to reflect on the example it provides us, to help us become better people and grow closer to Jesus. We will be sharing our journey for the first 8 days of Advent here each day at 3pm.
We’d love to see your Jesse Tree, share your pics on social media using the tag: #iLight2020
If you haven’t started yet, it’s not too late to catch up! Download the resources so you can follow along at home here and the symbols here.
DAY 1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1)
December 1, as a family, start by finding a tree – whether real or ornamental, or even just a decorative paper tree stuck to a wall or fridge.
The first symbol to hang on your Jesse Tree is of EARTH. Cut out a picture of the EARTH and hang this paper ornament on your family Jesse Tree.
This symbol represents the creation of heavens and Earth by God over seven days and reminds us that God is the creator and centre of all things.
“Advent presents a rare and precious opportunity to reset our inner compass and seek direction where we can adopt prayerful daily habits,” Anthony Cleary, Sydney Catholic Schools’ (SCS) Mission & Identity Director said.
“This year, we are asking our schools to join us on a more meaningful journey to celebrate Advent, with the traditional Jesse Tree – or Jesus’ family tree!”
The Jesse Tree is a very old tradition used to help tell the story from Creation to the birth of baby Jesus.
Mission & Identity’s iLight 2020 program invites families to place 24 symbols of stories and people in the Bible on the Jesse Tree throughout the four weeks of Advent, leading up to the coming of Christ.
“The purpose of iLight 2020 is for each one of us to be a light in the darkness of what has been a most challenging year,” Mr Cleary said.
“We warmly invite you to journey towards Christmas as a wider Catholic community this Advent by sharing this initiative with your school and parish community.”