Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Catholic Prayer: Jesse Tree Prayer Service


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Here is a prayer service to use for the Jesse Tree throughout Advent.


When the family has gathered around the Tree for the service, the person who made the symbol for the day reads the Bible selection. Parents or an older child can read for a small child. Use either a Bible or a Bible story book for this. Pass around the ornament for all to see. Then the person who made it hangs it on the Tree.

Another family member then reads the prayer for the current week of Advent. (During the time of December 17-23, the "O" Antiphon takes the place of the Advent prayer, or can be used in addition to the weekly prayer if desired.)

After the Advent prayer, the members of the family can pray silently or share prayer aloud for a few minutes.

Close the service with a familiar Advent hymn.


December 1
Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4

December 2
Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24

December 3
Fall of Man: Gen.3:1-7 and 23-24

December 4
Noah: Gen. 6:5-8, 13-22; 7:17, 23, 24; 8:1, 6-22

December 5
Abraham: Gen. 12:1-3

December 6
Isaac: Gen. 22:1-14

December 7
Jacob: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15

December 8
Joseph: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15

December 9
Moses: Ex. 2:1-10

December 10
Samuel: 1 Sam. 3:1-18

December 11
Jesse: 1 Sam. 16:1-13

December 12
David: 1 Sam. 17:12-51

December 13
Solomon: 1 Kings 3:5-14, 16-28

December 14
Joseph: Matt. 1:18-25

December 15
Mary: Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38

December 16
John the Baptist: Mark 1:1-8

On December 17, the Church begins to intensify the preparation for Christmas with the use of the "O" Antiphons during the Liturgy of the Hours. The symbols for the Jesse Tree from December 17 to 23 are based on the "O" Antiphons.

December 17
Jesus is Wisdom: Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus in old Bibles) 24:2; Wisdom 8:1

December 18
Jesus is Lord: Ex. 3:2; 20:1

December 19
Jesus is Flower of Jesse: Isaiah 11:1-3

December 20
Jesus is Key of David: Isaiah 22:22

December 21
Jesus is the Radiant Dawn: Psalm 19:6-7 (in older Bibles this will be Psalm 18)

December 22
Jesus is King of the Gentiles: Psalm 2:7-8; Ephesians 2:14-20

December 23
Jesus is Emmanuel: Isaiah 7:14; 33:22

December 24
Jesus is Light of the World: John 1:1-14


FIRST WEEK: O Lord, stir up Your power and come, that we may be rescued from the results of our sins by Your holy protection Come and free us from sin. We ask this of you through Jesus our Lord. Amen.

SECOND WEEK: O Lord, stir up our hearts to make them ready for the coming of Your Son. Help us to become worthy to serve You. Give us pure hearts and minds. We ask this of You through Jesus our Lord. Amen.

THIRD WEEK O Lord, we beg You to listen to our prayers. Give us the light of Your grace, that we may see goodness in the world and not be overcome by the darkness of sin. We ask this of You through Jesus our Lord. Amen.

FOURTH WEEK: O Lord, stir up Your power and come to us. We need You to give us strength, qrace and forgiveness. Our sins keep much good from us. May Your grace and your strength help us to receive the good we need. We ask this of You through Jesus our Lord. Amen.


December 17: O Wisdom, You come out of the mouth of the Most High. You reach from one end of the earth to the other, and keep all thinqs in order by Your power and Your kindness: come and teach us prudence.

December 18: O Lord and Leader of Israel, You appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the Law on Mt. Sinai: come with outstretched arms and redeem us.

December 19: O Flower of Jesse, You are a sign for all the people of God's love for us. Kings keep silence before You and Gentiles pray to you: come to deliver us quickly.

December 20: O Key of David and Scepter of the house of Israel, You open and no man can close, You close and no man can open: come and rescue us who are the prisoners of darkness and death.

December 21: O Radiant Dawn, brightness of light eternal and Sun of Justice: come and enlighten us who sit in the darkness of sin and the shadow of death.

December 22: O King of the Gentiles, You are the one who is desired by all people. You are the capstone that makes both Israel and the Gentiles one: come and deliver us, the race You formed from the dust of the earth.

December 23: O Emmanuel, our King and lawqiver, You are the expected one of all nations and their Savior: come to save us, O Lord our God.

O God, You fill us with happiness each year as we wait for our celebration of Christmas. May we also joyfully look forward to the coming of Jesus as our final Judge. We ask this of You through Jesus our Lord. Amen.


"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel "

1. O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here, Until the Son of God appear.

Refrain: Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel! Shall come to thee, O Israel!

2. O come, Thou Wisdom from on high, Who ordrest all things mightily; To us the path of knowledge show, And teach us in her ways to go. — Refrain

3. O come, Thou Key of David, come, And open wide our heav'nly home; Make safe the way that leads to thee, And close the path to misery. — Refrain

4. O come, Desire of Nations, bind In one the hearts of all mankind; Bid thou our sad divisions cease, And be thyself our King of Peace. — Refrain

Prayer Source: Jesse Tree Kit, A by Betsy Walter, Pauline Books and Media, Boston, MA, 1983