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Assembly Title
Boniface And The Christmas Tree

Submitted by
S. Daly

Age Group

To hear about Saint Boniface and the origin of the Christmas tree tradition

Faith Group

A decorated Christmas tree

Time of Year

Other Details
The poem could be mimed by twelve children wearing green

In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Good morning everyone. Today we are going to tell you about Saint Boniface and the Christmas tree.

(Mimed poem)

Twelve little Christmas trees
Growing in a line,
Growing straight and spicy-green,
Growing tall and fine.

Twelve little Christmas trees
Riding through the snow,
In a red and rumbling truck,
Wondering where they'll go.

Twelve little Christmas trees
Think they're sure to freeze,
When all at once, they all are sold
To twelve good families!

Twelve little Christmas trees
Sparkling with light,
In twelve snug and happy homes
On Christmas Eve, at night.

2. When you hang lights and tinsel and baubles on a tree at Christmas, what kind of tree is it? An oak, a beech, a willow, a horse chestnut? No, of course not. It is always a fir tree. This story tells us why.

3.Thirteen hundred years ago, a baby boy was born in Devon, England. He was called Wynfrith. His father sold wool for a living.
One day, Wynfrith said,

WYNFRITH: Father, I would like to be a priest when I grow up.

FATHER: Certainly not. You will have to help me sell wool.

WYNFRITH: Please, Father.

3. Wynfrith begged and begged, but his father always said,


3. Eventually, Wynfrith said,

WYNFRITH: Right! We'll see about that.

3. And he knelt down and prayed.

4. God must have been listening, because, the next time Wynfrith asked, his father said,

FATHER: Yes - I agree!

4. He sent Wynfrith to a Benedictine monastery in Exeter. Wynfrith became a priest - Father Boniface.

5. Then Boniface went to Germany, to teach the people there about God. He went to two villages, but the people there told him to go away. They laughed at him and said he was crazy. This made Boniface more determined. He said to himself,

BONIFACE: Right, I'll show them. With God on my side, I just can't lose.

6. He went to another village. He saw a large crowd of people singing and dancing around a huge oak tree.

BONIFACE: What's going on?

6. A villager answered him,

VILLAGER: Shush. This is our god.

7. That did it. Boniface picked up an axe and chopped down the tree. The villagers were terrified; their god had been destroyed. Then, suddenly, a strange thing happened. A tiny fir tree sprang up between the roots of the fallen oak tree.

8. The villagers thought it was magic, but Boniface said,

BONIFACE: No, it is the work of God.

8. He told the villagers about God and many of them were baptised.

9. The Germans like to remember this story of Saint Boniface and the fir tree.
Every year they decorate fir trees at Christmas time.
They use a fir tree, because Boniface called it the tree of the Christ child.
He said it was the wood of peace, because it made the Germans listen to what he said about God.
He also said it was a sign of eternal life, with its evergreen leaves.
And - if you think of its shape - it is like an arrow pointing up to heaven.

10. In England, we have used fir trees as Christmas trees for about 150 years. Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, was German - and he gave us the idea of having Christmas trees.
They look attractive with their sparkling lights and shining baubles, but now you know they also have a meaning. They make us look up to heaven and remind us about God.

11. Dear God, we thank you for Christmas trees and decorations and the fun of preparing for Christmas. But, more than that, we thank you for sending us your son, Jesus. May we not be too excited to remember the true meaning of Christmas and what happened 2000 years ago in Bethlehem. Amen.

We will now ask Mary, Jesus's mother, to pray with us. Hail Mary...

Now we will sing "You shall go out with Joy" by Stuart Dauermann (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 831)

S. Daly 2000

Last updated 24-7-12.