It’s common during the first week of January to see Christmas trees lying naked by the side of the road. For some, including the congregation at St. James Episcopal Church in Leesburg, Va., disposing of the trees has become an occasion for gathering for an Epiphany bonfire, bringing to life the light that is the promise of Advent and Christmas. The event, which drew about 100 people from the church and the community, was featured in a Washington Post video this week.
“We bring that light and warmth into what is often a very cold and dark night,” says the Rev. John Dohmer, rector of St. James. (It bears noting that temperatures in the D.C. region have been unseasonably warm this week.) The bonfire commemorates and celebrates the light of Christ coming into the world, he continues.