A 40-year-old Christmas musical tradition will soon be silenced in Moncton.

The Living Christmas Tree has been a fixture at the city’s Wesleyan Church since 1973, but the church says it’s time to move on.

Ashley Carter has fond memories of her contribution to the Living Christmas Tree celebration.

She performed at the church in 2005 when she was 14 years old. She says it is a memory that will be with her always.

“They started out with the black lights. That was pretty neat actually. That really kicked off the Living Christmas Tree for me,” says Carter.

She was disappointed to hear the tradition is coming to a close.

“Sad. Very, very sad. I love it. It’s a tradition now, for me and my mom to do.”

Don Ingersoll, a pastor at the Wesleyan Church, says 11,000 people attended the production in 2011.

“It’s a big deal,” he says. “To do the Living Christmas Tree in a city this size and have that kind of attendance is pretty phenomenal, really.”

However, church administration recently decided to pull the plug on the event, meaning this year’s production will also be the last.

Ingersoll simply explains it as going out on top. Planning for the replacement is already underway.

“It will be something that people can relate to and enjoy and really gets to the heart of celebrating the season,” he says.

John Perkins, a religious studies professor at Mount Allison University, says many churches today are dealing with constant change.

“As religions change demographically, churches are necessarily going to change reflective of that,” he says.

Edward Stewart helps set up the 22-foot structure, which boasts tens of thousands of lights. He also worked on the production back in the early seventies.

“I’m feeling kind of down a little bit. Sad in another aspect of it,” he says.

The church isn’t releasing any details about what might replace the Living Christmas Tree at this time.

With files from CTV Atlantic's David Bell