Ministries

The Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival

    The Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival

    St. Mary’s has been offering the Boar’s Head Festival as its annual gift to the community since 1990, the 650th anniversary of the festival. This Boar’s Head tradition originated at Queen's College, Oxford, England, in 1340, and is probably the oldest continuing Christmas festival.

    It is with deep sadness that we will not be able to celebrate the Boar's Head Festival this year (2022).  We pray that over the next year, we will discover that is will be possible to fill the church again to celebrate this great Epiphany celebration. We invite you to join us in this prayer. 

    When we are able to share this beautiful gift with the community again, there will be two performances (one at 3:00 pm and one at 5:00 p.m.).  Entrance is free and open to everyone, and there will be a free-will offering.  More information regarding the Banquet (for which tickets are required) may be found at the bottom of this page. 

    But why, you may wonder, a “boar’s head”?! The pageant of killing the boar is ancient: The Romans served boar as the first course at their banquets. As the Gospel spread throughout Europe, the boar’s head came to represent evil’s ultimate defeat by the power of God through Jesus Christ.

    The pageant itself follows a similar narrative arc.  Beginning with a secular celebration as all of the characters gather for a feast, the story dramatically shifts to telling the story of Immanuel: how God became with us in the person of Jesus.  Shepherds, angels, and wise men soon join the more than 150 other people dressed up as peasants and nobility, beggars and kings, clergy and cooks. Everyone in attendance can relate to one or many of the characters and find his or herself uniquely placed in the end at the Christ child’s manger, where all lives are made equal and no one is left unchanged.

    When the Boar's Head returns, following the 5pm performance there will be a delicious banquet offering a full meal of wonderful foods, including wine, all set in the king’s decorated hall.  Tickets for the banquet will be available to purchase.