Short Rite for Epiphany and The Conclusion of Christ-mass
aka getting rid of the Christmas tree
1. This rite is appropriate for home use or in public spaces; usually after a nice supper to mark the end of Christmas
2. After removing the ornaments, giving the edible ornaments to children, neighbor children, or other worthies, turn on the lights/light the candles one last time.
3. L: In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
4. C: Amen
5. Lesson: Matthew 2:1-15
6. Hymn: O Tannenbaum, a few verses
7. L: Okay, so, now what?
8. C: Christmas is over; the stores have Valentine's stuff now
9. L: Let's pray or something
10. L: Lord, we give you thanks for this tree whose life we took, especially we hope you preserve those other trees that only Charlie Brown would take. We give you thanks that nothing bad happened to our tree [OR, we're sorry that things got out of control with the dog/cat/kids/party and the tree tipped over] and thank you for giving it to us for the important office of "Christmass tree." May we all remember the light of Christ that this tree bore [as well as our house, the yard, etc.] for this Christmas season, especially since our commute is during the dark hours. In Jesus’ name,
11. C: Amen.
12. Remove the lights, the angel or star, and clear away a space for removal. The assisting minister, the one who can dead lift the most weight, removes the tree. Take it to the curb, the dumpster, to a porch or yard, to dry out for Ash Wednesday use, or if permits or ordinances allow, have a nice bonfire with the neighbors to celebrate the end of Christmas.
13. One might consider use of the service of committal if the tree goes straight to the dumpster or curbside pickup.