Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Third Presbyterian Church – Boar’s Head Festival

January 7 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Third Presbyterian is excited to announce the “Boar’s Head Festival” is back!

Come join us on either Saturday, January 7, 2023 and Sunday, January 8, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. for this extravaganza. The music and pageantry as we celebrate our Savior is wondrous.

What is the Boar’s Head Festival?

History of the Festival

The history of the Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival goes back to the days of the Roman Empire, when the boar was the first dish served at great Roman feasts. In Norman England, the boar was the sovereign of the forests – a menace to people and a symbol of evil. By the 12th century, the serving of the boar’s head a Christmastide had become symbolic of the triumph of Christ over Satan, begun with His birth at Christmas and manifested at Epiphany, His showing forth to the Gentiles.

The Yule Log, a fresh log lighted by the last year’s embers and representing both the warmth of the family fireside and the continuance of human life and concern, has from the earliest times symbolized the rekindling of love, and so of Love Himself incarnate. The old year passes and the new is born; yet the same Love lights each.

No one knows who planned the first Boar’s Head procession, but Queens College, Oxford records the Festival shortly after the founding of the University in 1340. After three or four centuries at Oxford and Cambridge, to the ceremony were added the mince pie, the plum pudding, and cast as we see it here. The festival was a popular Christmas event of the great manor houses of England in the 17th century, and the custom was carried to colonial America, where the first presentation was in Connecticut.

The festival begins as a yule sprite brings a lighted candle into the darkened church symbolizing the coming of Light into our darkened world. Representing the Church, a monk receives the light, and from this flickering flame rise the lights of the church itself.

Announced by a fanfare, the Royal Court enters. The Boar’s Head, symbolic of Christ’s triumph over evil, follows, and is carried in stately procession by two Beefeaters. The rest of the royal household follows.

Later come banners depicting the 12 Days of Christmas; the woodsmen with the yule log, which represents the rekindling of Love; the Holy Family; the shepherds searching for the Christ; and finally the three kings, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

When all have assembled, they kneel in adoration of the Lord of Lords as the church is darkened and the Epiphany star shines overhead. Then after the assemblage has recessed, the yule sprite returns, and together the monk and sprite carry forth the lighted candle to show that Christ is a light to all people.


Rev. Tedd Pullano


Third Presbyterian Church
4 Meigs Street
Rochester, NY 14607
+ Google Map
View Venue Website