Make a Jesse Tree Advent Calendar to Celebrate Christmas this Year

December 17-23

In the last eight days of advent, the Church uses the O Antiphons during the Liturgy of the Hours. The symbols for these last Jesse tree patterns from December 17 to 23 are based on the O Antiphons. I mentioned I would tell you some interesting facts about the O Antiphons earlier. When the Benedictine monks developed the O Antiphons they put them in a special order. Each of the antiphons refer to a prophecy of Isaiah, as I mentioned earlier. The O Antiphons are so amazing because the first letter of each one creates a meaningful acronym.

Professor Robert Greenberg of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music says that the Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons purposefully. Take the first letter of the last title of each antiphon:  Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia. When you spell it out the Latin words ero cras are formed. Ero Cras means: “Tomorrow, I will come.” So the antiphons bring a special meaning to advent in two very special ways.

Each Antiphon Highlights a Title for Jesus, the Messiah:

O Sapientia: “O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” (11:2-3), and “Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom.” (28:29).O Adonai: “O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.” Isaiah had prophesied, “But He shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.” (11:4-5); and “Indeed the Lord will be there with us, majestic; yes the Lord our judge, the Lord our lawgiver, the Lord our king, he it is who will save us.” (33:22).

O Radix Jesse: “O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.” Isaiah had prophesied, “But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.” (11:1), and A On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.” (11:10). Remember also that Jesse was the father of King David, and Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of the house and lineage of David and be born in David’s city, Bethlehem (Micah 5:1).

O Clavis David: “O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of Heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.” Isaiah had prophesied, AI will place the Key of the House of David on His shoulder; when he opens, no one will shut, when he shuts, no one will open.” (22:22), and “His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David’s throne, and over His kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever.” (9:6).

O Oriens: “O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shown.” (9:1).

O Rex Gentium: “O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.” Isaiah had prophesied, “For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” (9:5), and “He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.” (2:4) .

O Emmanuel: “O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The Lord himself will give you this sign: the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.”

(7:14). Remember “Emmanuel” means “God is with us.”

December 17

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

free clip art Jesse tree advent calendar December 17
Jesus is wisdom.

December 18

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

free clip art Jesse tree advent calendar December 18
Jesus is Lord.

December 19

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

free clip art Jesse tree advent calendar December 19
Jesus is flower of Jesse.

December 20

Jesus is Key of David: Isaiah 22:22.

free clip art Jesse tree advent calendar December 20
Jesus is the key of David.

December 21

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

free clip art Jesse tree advent calendar December 21
Jesus is the radiant dawn.

December 22

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

free clip art Jesse tree advent calendar December 22.
Jesus is the King of the Gentiles.

December 23

Jesus is Emmanuel: Isaiah 7:14; 33:22.

free clip art Jesse tree advent calendar December 23
Jesus is Emmanuel.

December 24

Jesus is Light of the World: John 1:1-14.

free clip art Jesse tree advent calendar December 24
Jesus is the Light of the World.

Download my free clip art Jesse tree patterns to share with your children. I am happy to share them with you. If you like my patterns feel free to link to them and to share them with your friends and family. It is free to use and distribute as long as you do not attempt to sell them.

Clip Art Jesse Tree Advent Patterns by Healthy Family:

Jesse Tree Patterns: Full Color Clip Art Jesse Tree Patterns: Coloring Pages
Jesse tree advent patterns: full color clip art December-1-4 Jesse tree advent patterns: make your own coloring pages December-1-4
Jesse tree advent patterns: full color clip art December-5-10 Jesse tree advent patterns: make your own coloring pages December-5-10
Jesse tree advent patterns: full color clip art December-11-16 Jesse tree advent patterns: make your own coloring pages December-11-16
Jesse tree advent patterns: full color clip art December 17-22 Jesse tree advent patterns: make your own coloring pages December-17-22
Jesse tree advent patterns: full color clip art December-23-24  Jesse tree advent patterns: make your own coloring pages December-23-24

New in 2013:

Abraham’s Tent, an alternative clip art image for December 5.

I would love to hear from folks who use my free Jesse tree patterns for their Jesse tree advent calendar. Let me know how you used them. Are you on Pinterest? If you post your Jesse tree advent calendar on your board be sure to follow me. I will follow you back and repin your calendar. I would love to see all the creative craft projects that were made from my free Jesse tree advent patterns. Got any ideas for additional Jesse tree ornament patterns? Let me know! I will add to the collection for everyone to share.

I’m also doing Elf on the Shelf with my kids this year as a fun nightly activity. If you’d like to take a look at my free Elf on the Shelf message signs, visit Elf on the Shelf ideas: Download Free Message Signs for Your Elf too.

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35 Comments on Make a Jesse Tree Advent Calendar to Celebrate Christmas this Year

  1. This is perfect for my Special Needs Catechism class tonight! Thanks so much for posting this online! I will let you know how it goes, but this will “connect the dots” for my special kids! God bless!

  2. This is great for a very busy, work-from home, Mom who homeschools!! I was looking for something relatively easy…thank you for posting. We are going to try it.

    • Brealie,
      I’ve updated the post. If you take a look at the image of the black and white ones there is now a link in the caption. To download you have to go to page 4. On the bottom of that page there’s a table that lists all the downloads. Choose all the pages on the right side of that table. That should do it! Glad you like them.

  3. Can you please post the flipped ornaments? I would like to try to iron them on felt. What an awesome idea!

    • Hi Theresa!
      Sure! I’m sorry for the delay. I was busy posting a promo for a free jar of honey giveaway. I’ve got that post up and running. You can see an image for it in the top right corner of the web site. Click on it if you’d like to enter to win. I’ve made a convenient PDF booklet with all the inverted images and uploaded it here: Jesse tree inverted images for iron on transfer Let me know how it goes. I was afraid the images wouldn’t transfer well on felt, so I used a regular poly/cotton blend. I was very happy with the result. I thought I would need to hot glue them to felt pieces to get them to stick, but they hold up there nicely on their own. I haven’t had one fall off yet.

  4. Caryn, great Jesse tree…I’m currently in the process of putting ours together. I would love to know what readings you use so that they match the ornaments easily. I clicked on the link for Christine Johnson’s readings but it took me to a google account sign in page. Any ideas on how to get the readings? Thanks.

  5. Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful talents in making the Jesse Tree
    available! I am excited to share it with my grandson, his Christian school and our church…..Blessings of Advent and at Christmas.
    Brooks Wilson

  6. Thank you so much for these, I plan to use them for my 2nd grade Religious Education Class today, its always easier to teach them something when there’s a fun craft involved!

    • That’s great! I am so glad you shared your thoughts. I have a second grader, too. He is loving the Jesse tree project. We are using a children’s Catholic Bible. It has made the devotion time a lot easier for the boys. The discussions we are having are very interesting. I am so glad we decided to make this a family tradition in our house. Have a great time with your class tonight. They are preparing for their first communion this year, aren’t they?

  7. Hello Caryn…thank you so much for sharing these..they are beautiful! I first heard of the Jesse Tree last year but I didn’t have the time to do it. I am so glad that I have this year, my 6 year old daughter is really enjoying it. She looks forward to putting on the ornament each evening and it is amazing when I recap what we did previously she actually remembers! God’s blessings to you and yours in this Holy Season and I pray that the New Year brings you much love and happiness.

  8. This is the first year that we will be doing a Jesse Tree. I myself am a cradle Catholic, but to my sadness I never knew what that was! This is an excellent way to know Jesus’ family and who he is as well as a wonderful Advent tradition.

  9. This is my first year doing a Jesse Tree also. I am currently converting to Catholicism, and this will be the first year we are celebrating Christmas as something other than a secular holiday. I’m so excited to use the ornaments you provided! I printed them small and will use them on an Advent calendar I already have that has a small felt Christmas tree on the top. It has pockets on each day with a small velcro ornament in each (we used it last year just to countdown the days), so I’ll just use these instead! Thank you so much for providing these.

    • Thanks for sharing, Amy. I was an RCIA convert too, at age 20. I was baptized as an infant but never received my communion or confirmation as a child. This is one of the reasons why I felt so compelled to create traditions that share the true meaning of Christmas with my own 4 kids. I wanted a meaningful activity that we could do as a family that would teach them what Christmas is all about. The Jesse Tree does this so beautifully. We use a picture Bible every night of advent. I love your idea of using them for a small advent calendar you already have. That’s a great idea.

  10. Have you thought about an tent for Abraham? I have seen this mentioned several time for a symbol for Abraham (and Sarah). I love your illustrations, and would love to use the tent symbol!
    I am planning an Advent prayer service for grades 1-3 Faith Formation classes.

  11. Hi! Thanks so much for sharing your great ideas….Sorry for this question: How could I transfer the coloured ornaments to felt with an iron?

    Thanks again and God bless!

  12. Thank you so much! I am using this in my classroom! It’s so great because I have a new student who literally pointed at our classroom crucifix and asked, “Sister, what’s that?” Her parents are enthusiastic about her becoming baptized in the Church. So this gives her and the other class a good background in scripture.

  13. Thank you! I printed 2 copies to have my kids color each day and will use these in the future for our Jessie tree! I made some last year but I want to have the kids “own” the project and I love that you did the traditional o’antiphones! I never did any of this as a child and it is so enriching to my faith now!

  14. These are so beautiful! I’m so excited! I never knew I could iron onto felt. I make felt stories for my classes, and so this is great to know. I am using “Jolee’s Boutique Easy image transfer sheets for inket printers (For Light Fabrics), by Wilton”. I’m following the instructions provided inside the Wilton package, and it’s working like magic. Be sure to use white felt. Also, I have been attempting to make a felt Jesse tree for my family for a while now, and so I am very thankful you have shared your talents. You even provided the mirror image for iron transfers – super helpful! You have inspired me to make an heirloom Jesse tree too.

  15. Hi, I’m designing Powerpoint slides for primary school Religious Education. Am I able to use your Jesse Tree illustrations? Thanks,

  16. I would love to do a Jesse Tree for myself and a family that lives nearby, with the print and color version of your ornaments. I have an old computer that runs Windows XP, and cannot download them. Any suggestions or help?.

  17. I love these drawings! I plan to use them in an Advent worship service that will be lead by my second graders. May I please make extra copies to send home with parishoners (for free)? Your website of will be on each page.

  18. Hi Caryn I wanted to download all the Jesse Tree ornaments you made. They are beautiful and perfect for my grade one student to colour. The page 3 December 11-December 16 black and white link will not download. When I try it says the page is damaged. Is there any way you could send me a corrected black and white page?

15 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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