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Source: (consider it) Thread: Christmas / Easter tree
North East Quine

Curious beastie
# 13049

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Is this a thing, and if so, what does it signify?

A church near me has a dead Christmas tree in front of it. The top half has been stripped of branches, and a branch fixed on to form a cross.

It's obviously a tree from last Christmas as there are some patches of green needles, but it's mostly brown and dead.

Is it purely decorative in an ugly sort of way? It does look a bit like a cross on a hill, with the lower branches being the hill. Perhaps someone had a burst of inspiration and decided rather than throw out their Christmas tree they would keep it and be creative come Easter.

Or does it have some sort of Christmas/ Easter symbolism? Do other churches have dead Christmas trees adapted for Easter?

Posts: 6414 | From: North East Scotland | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

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I've never seen this, and it does indeed sound ugly. So was the Crucifixion, of course, and I guess the point may be that the Incarnation ends with the cross.....except that it doesn't, because of the Resurrection!

Many churches do indeed put a cross up outside, often (on Easter Day) draped with a cloth representing the empty grave-clothes. I wonder how many passers-by see the significance, though?

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 10149 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
North East Quine

Curious beastie
# 13049

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The draped cross outside a church is a familiar sight here. I've never seen a cross made out of a Christmas tree though.
Posts: 6414 | From: North East Scotland | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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The christmas tree cross is much simpler in purpose than you might think; its goal is to ckue people in that the baby in the manger and the man on the cross might actually be connected.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 20059 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
North East Quine

Curious beastie
# 13049

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That makes sense! Are these trees a feature of Easter in America, LC?
Posts: 6414 | From: North East Scotland | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
That makes sense! Are these trees a feature of Easter in America, LC?

I've lived in America all my life and have never heard of them. However, America is so big that different regions have different traditions.

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"...that is generally a matter for Pigwidgeon, several other consenting adults, a bottle of cheap Gin and the odd giraffe."
~Tortuf

Posts: 9835 | From: Hogwarts | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Nick Tamen

Ship's Wayfaring Fool
# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
That makes sense! Are these trees a feature of Easter in America, LC?

I've lived in America all my life and have never heard of them. However, America is so big that different regions have different traditions.
I've never seen, or heard of, them either.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

Posts: 2833 | From: On heaven-crammed earth | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Cottontail

Shipmate
# 12234

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My facebook feed, which contains several clergy-types, has had a couple of these pictured. Not quite like the one you describe, with the lower branches still attached (which sounds rather odd, franky), but just a rough cross made out of the trunk of the old Christmas tree. The intent is just as LC described: to help make the connection between the baby Jesus and the Jesus of the cross.

I've also seen them wrapped in chickenwire, and on Easter Sunday, flowers get woven in to the wire to make a 'resurrection cross', so to speak.

I don't know where the idea comes from, but it is not uncommon, in my experience.

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"I don't think you ought to read so much theology," said Lord Peter. "It has a brutalizing influence."

Posts: 2377 | From: Scotland | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged
anne
Shipmate
# 73

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This was an established tradition in my curacy parish and I have used it elsewhere since, making the Lenten cross from the church Christmas tree to emphasise the link between the two seasons, but I have always seen them with all of the branches removed from the upright, rather than as described in the OP.

Placed at the front of church during Lent, the cross can be 'dressed' with symbols - cloth, crown of thorns, nails etc - as Lent progresses. The actual cutting up and nailing back together makes a great activity for a Messy Church or similar.

anne

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‘I would have given the Church my head, my hand, my heart. She would not have them. She did not know what to do with them. She told me to go back and do crochet' Florence Nightingale

Posts: 338 | From: Devon | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
North East Quine

Curious beastie
# 13049

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I've seen the cross decorated with flowers; possibly this might happen with the cross I'm describing.

I think it's the lower branches I failed to understand. It's clearly a dead Christmas tree, the sort you see looking forlorn on pavements waiting to be collected by the Council in January. The fact that the top half has been stripped back and made into a cross doesn't make it look any less dead. If all the branches had been removed, it would look less dead. If the plan is to decorate it with flowers it will be completely transformed and quite beautiful.

I shall wait and see.

Posts: 6414 | From: North East Scotland | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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I've never seen the branches left on either. Maybe somebody's trying to be creative.

We got the idea from a church where I grew up in California. Nobody here in the Midwest has seemed very surprised by it, though.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 20059 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Pangolin Guerre
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# 18686

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I've lived in two regions of Canada, and spent extended time in the UK (mostly London), and I've never encountered this. My reaction, at the moment, is slight bemusement.
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Mamacita

Lakefront liberal
# 3659

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In my line of work, I get a bit of Christian Junk Mail - catalogs full of gift items (some of which I've entered in Gadgets for God). So I've seen items similar to this in Christmas catalogs, where there are a variety of cross Christmas ornaments and other items that connect the Incarnation with the crucifixion. I've not seen these around Easter, but here is something similar. The times I've run across these, they have been featured along with other items that promote a PSA theology.

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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A bit of a tangent, but my mother got some 3 foot wooden cross thingy all painted up in lavender with flowers in white and green, and stuck the thing in her lawn, meaning it to be a sign of the resurrection. What she got was neighborhood little kids with big eyes, wondering if there was a grave there. [Devil]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 20059 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

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Well, yes - an empty one....

....I'll get me coat.

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 10149 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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quote:
Originally posted by Mamacita:
In my line of work, I get a bit of Christian Junk Mail - catalogs full of gift items (some of which I've entered in Gadgets for God). So I've seen items similar to this in Christmas catalogs, where there are a variety of cross Christmas ornaments and other items that connect the Incarnation with the crucifixion. I've not seen these around Easter, but here is something similar. The times I've run across these, they have been featured along with other items that promote a PSA theology.

Here are two ideas for your Christmas/Lenten enjoyment:
Christmas Tree Cross Ornament and Cross of Nails Christmas Ornament.

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"...that is generally a matter for Pigwidgeon, several other consenting adults, a bottle of cheap Gin and the odd giraffe."
~Tortuf

Posts: 9835 | From: Hogwarts | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

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Well, neither of those items would normally be on my Christmas list, but full marks to anyone trying to connect Christmas with the Cross!

It's not so long ago that a supermarket in the UK was advertising Easter goods 'to celebrate the birth of Christ'.... [Confused]

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 10149 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

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Yur tis, rather longer ago than I remembered:

'..on 3rd April 2007, a press release from Somerfield supermarket declared, “Brits will on average be enjoying over 3.5 eggs each over the Easter weekend alone. But over a quarter don’t know why handing them out symbolises the birth of Jesus'.

[brick wall]

Correction was duly made, after consultation with the Church of England, but it rather emphasised the now-common lack of knowledge of the Christian faith in England.

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 10149 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
North East Quine

Curious beastie
# 13049

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I saw it again yesterday. The lower branches have been removed, and bound onto the trunk, making quite a substantial cross (the previous cross part was the spindly bit on top). A bunch of daffodils has been fixed to it. It looks good; from a short distance the dead needle colour makes it look like a wooden cross, rather than a Christmas tree. If I hadn't seen it "before" I wouldn't have realised it was a Christmas tree.
Posts: 6414 | From: North East Scotland | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged


 
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