Monday, November 30, 2009

Homemade Advent Wreath

With little fingers that like to get into everything, I had to keep the Advent wreath simple. I used some scented tea light candles in some chunky green glass star holders found at The Dollar Tree, some greens from the garden, and a large silver plate that I've had for years. The children's paper from Sunday's mass worked nicely for the Advent readings and a simple prayer. Ideally, an electric wreath would be even safer, but these non-tippy candles are a good inexpensive alternative for us.

After the first candle was lit, I moved the wreath from the table to the back of stove where we could enjoy it for an hour.

From Wikipedia: " The Advent wreath is a Christian tradition that symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent in the liturgical calendar of the Western church. It is usually a horizontal evergreen wreath with four or five candles. Beginning with the First Sunday of Advent, the lighting of a candle can be accompanied by a Bible reading and prayers. An additional candle is lit during each subsequent week until, by the last Sunday before Christmas, all four candles are lit. Some Advent wreaths include a fifth, "Christ" candle which can be lit at Christmas. The custom is observed both in family settings and at public church services."

The History of the Advent Wreath: "The symbolism of the Advent wreath is beautiful. The wreath is made of various evergreens, signifying continuous life. Even these evergreens have a traditional meaning which can be adapted to our faith: The laurel signifies victory over persecution and suffering; pine, holly, and yew, immortality; and cedar, strength and healing. Holly also has a special Christian symbolism: The prickly leaves remind us of the crown of thorns, and one English legend tells of how the cross was made of holly. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the everlasting life found in Christ. Any pine cones, nuts, or seedpods used to decorate the wreath also symbolize life and resurrection. All together, the wreath of evergreens depicts the immortality of our soul and the new, everlasting life promised to us through Christ, the eternal Word of the Father, who entered our world becoming true man and who was victorious over sin and death through His own passion, death, and resurrection."


Myrnie said...

It's beautiful! I'm confused, though- what is an advent wreath, and why are there 4 candles?

Alexandra said...

Oh, I should have posted information. Thanks for the reminder...I've added some links. :)