Rehearsal for the Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival

12/28/1968 |


The Courant published an article on the rehearsal for the upcoming Boar’s Head and Yule Festival, scheduled to take place on January 5, 1969.

The program for the event would be:

  • A tiny sprite brings a lighted candle into the darkened church
  • The minister receives the light, and the lights in the chancel were brought up
  • The lights in the church were brought up
  • Trumpet fanfare announced the entry of the boar’s head
  • King Wenceslas and his page entered
  • A jester followed
  • The woodsmen entered with the Yule Log
  • The shepherds entered
  • The Three Kings arrived with their gifts
  • All knelt as the epiphany star shone over the communion table

The Courant previewed last year’s event on December 23, 1967.

The Courant will cover CBS crews setting up to broadcast nationally the Easter service from Asylum Hill Congregational Church on April 10, 1971.

“No one knows who planned the first boar’s head procession, but Queens College, Oxford, England, records the festival shortly after the founding of the university in 1340.  After three or four centuries there, the mince pie, plum pudding, shepherds, the Waits (medieval carolers), the wise men, King Wenceslas, the martyr Stephen and the Beefeaters, famed guards of the Tower of London, were added to the ceremony.  The event was popular in the manor houses of 17th century England and from there spread to colonial America, where its first presentation was in Connecticut.  Asylum Hill is now the only church in the Hartford area to present the procession.”

Unattributed, “Special Festival Planned,” Hartford Courant, December 28, 1968, page 17.

Asylum Hill Congregational Church


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