St Michael’s Church - Christmas Tree Festival
Trees & Banners on Display from 12th – 14th December 2009
The Christmas Tree
Historians link the Christmas Tree to pagan practices, but it is actually Christian in origin. It first appeared in medieval German mystery plays. One of the most popular “mysteries” was the Paradise play, representing the creation of man, the sin of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from Paradise.  The play was performed inside the ring of lighted candles surrounding the Tree of Paradise. After the Puritan suppression of mystery plays in churches, the only symbolic object of the play remaining was the Christmas Tree. This then found its way into our homes, the tree becoming a symbol of the Saviour Jesus Christ. The tree would be dressed with apples and small white wafers representing the Holy Eucharist. These were later replaced by pastry stars, angels, hearts, flowers and bells.  Finally the shapes of men, birds, roosters and other animals appeared. 

Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s, husband re-introduced the Christmas tree here in 1841, when a tree from Germany was put it in Windsor Castle.  

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