The Christmas Tree: So that Adam may dance

OUR Christmas tree is derived, not from the pagan yule tree, but from the paradise tree adorned with apples on December 24 in honor of Adam and Eve.

Fr John Peck. Source.

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An apple tree in icy snow. © Calle Eklund, Wikimedia Commons. Licensed for reuse.

An apple tree in icy snow. © Calle Eklund, Wikimedia Commons. Licensed for reuse.

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YOU took what is mine, my Saviour, that I might acquire what is yours.
You accepted to suffer the passion, that I now
Might despise the passions. By your death I lived again.
You were placed in a tomb, and granted me Paradise for my dwelling.
By descending to the depths, you raised me up.
By destroying Hell’s gates, you opened for me the gates of Heaven.
Truly you bore all for the sake of the one who fell. You endured all,
So that Adam may dance.

St Romanos the Melodist, Kontakion 20. Source.

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Apples in Collaton St Mary near Torbay. © Tony Atkin, Geograph. Licensed for reuse.

Apples in Collaton St Mary near Torbay. © Tony Atkin, Geograph. Licensed for reuse.

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COME, let us rejoice in the Lord, as we tell of the present mystery. The middle wall of partition has been destroyed; the sword of flame turns back, the Cherubim withdraw from the tree of life; and I partake of the delight of Paradise, from which I was cast out through disobedience. For the express Image of the Father, the Imprint of his eternity, takes the form of a slave, coming forth from a Mother who did not know wedlock, not undergoing change; for what he was he has remained: true God; and what he was not he has taken up, becoming man through love for mankind. To him let us cry out: God, born from a Virgin, have mercy on us.

At Vespers on Christmas Day. Source.

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