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On the four Sundays of Advent, the LCH Children invite the entire congregation to their presentation of the Jesse Tree in the nave between morning worship services.

Jesse Tree Study Guide

The Jesse Tree with its symbols Wise Men-Star Mary-Lily Joseph-Carpenter's Rule Jesus-Chi-Rho Noah-Ark Isaac-Ram Jacob-Stairway Joseph-Tunic Moses-Burning Bush David-Harp Solomon-Crown Jonah-Whale Isaiah-Rose Ruth-Heart Daniel-Lion John-Shell Jesse Tree

Sometimes called the Root of Jesse or radix Jesse in Latin, the Jesse Tree is a visual representation of Jesus’ genealogy dating back to Jesse, the father of David. The Jesse Tree is found in the writings of Church Fathers, Latin hymns, and in visual arts—especially during the 12th to 16th centuries.

The Children of LCH present their own version of the Jesse Tree, based on Jesse Tree: Advent Song and Paraliturgies for Children by Dennis J. Newman (Chicago: GIA Publications, 2001). The presentation was begun by Vicki Gorman and is now led by Teresa McCreary, with help from all the Sunday School teachers.

For Advent 2009, the children introduced a new Jesse Tree, crafted of wood by Randy Castello.

(Click on any of the symbols on the Jesse Tree to go to the entry on the Study Guide.)

One child introduces the character from Jesus' genealogy.Each week’s presentation is divided into segments referring to key figures in the genealogy. Each segment begins with one child who introduces the character by describing key events in their life and relating those events to our lives today.

A child hangs Noahs symbol, the ark, on the Jesse Tree.During this presentation, one of the younger children hangs the individual’s symbol on the tree.

Then all the children sing the verse about that individual from the Jesse Tree song, with the congregation joining in the chorus.

Each week, the chorus grows as new inviduals are added. And when Advent IV arrives, we can sing the whole story of the Jesse Tree:

Jesse Tree, Jesse Tree,
sign of God’s fidelity,
that he may love eternally—
the promise made to Noah,
and Abraham and Isaac,
and Jacob on a journey,
and Joseph and the tribes;
and as well to Moses,
and David who’d be king,
and Solomon, his son,
and Jonah in the sea;
to prophets like Isaiah,
and to Ruth, a woman wise,
and Daniel in the den,
and to John who baptized;
and last made to Mary,
and Joseph in a dream,
was Jesus, Son of God,
who came here to redeem;
all who waited for the coming of Emmanuel.

Jesse Tree by Dennis Newman
2001 by GIA Publications, Inc. 800.442.1358
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

(If the embedded video does not appear on this page or does not work, you should still be able to view it on YouTube.)

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Jesse Tree Study Guide
Week Persons Events/Themes Scriptures Symbols
Week One Noah The Flood, Obedience Gen. 6:9-22,
7:17-19, 8:6-12
Abraham and Isaac The Promise Gen. 22:1-13, 15-18 Ram
Jacob Assurance of the Promise Gen. 28:10-22 Stairway
Joseph God’s Providence Gen. 37 Tunic
Week Two Moses God’s Leadership Exod. 3:1-12 Burning Bush
David A Shepherd for the People I Sam. 16:14-23 Harp
Solomon God’s Justice and Wisdom I Kings 3:3-15 Crown
Jonah Returning to God Jonah 1:1-16, 2:1 Whale
Week Three Isaiah Prophecy Isa. 35:1-2 Rose
Ruth Faithfulness Ruth 1:15-18 Heart
Daniel Courage Dan. 6:12-28 Lion
John the Baptist Repentance Mark 1:1-8 Shell
Week Four Mary The Hope of the Future Luke 1:26-38 Lily
Joseph Trust Matt. 1:18-24 Carpenter’s Rule
Jesus Birth of the Messiah Luke 2:1-14 Chi-Rho
Wise Men (Magi) Worship Matt. 2:1-12 Star

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