Friday, November 27, 2009

Advent Wreath!

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Do you have an Advent Wreath? Do you even know what it is?

This is our first year using an Advent Wreath, it's something I've had my eye on for quite a long time and kept saying "next year, next year", just never got around to it.

But I've always been inspired by the tradition and symbolism.

The Advent wreath is a circular garland of evergreen branches representing eternity. On that wreath, five candles are typically arranged. During the season of Advent one candle on the wreath is lit each Sunday as a part of the Advent services. Each candle represents an aspect of the spiritual preparation for the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

On the first Sunday of Advent, the first purple candle is lit. This candle is typically called the prophecy candle in remembrance of the prophets, primarily Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. This candle represents hope or expectation in anticipation of the coming Messiah.

Each week on Sunday, an additional candle is lit. On the second Sunday of Advent, the second purple candle is lit. This candle typically represents love. Some traditions call this the Bethlehem candle, symbolizing Christ's manger.

On the third Sunday of Advent the pink, or rose-colored candle is lit. This pink candle is customarily called the Shepherds' candle and it represents joy.

The fourth and last purple candle, oftentimes called the Angel's candle, represents peace and is lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent.

On Christmas Eve, the white center candle is traditionally lit. This candle is called the Christ candle and represents the life of Christ that has come into the world. The color of white represents purity.

Now if you want to make your own wreath, you can buy pre-made ones, OR, you can use what you have around the house which is what I did. Let me show you how easy it is and you'll be surprised at how beautiful it turns out.

I had a plain wreath laying around, with pink flowers and ribbons, all I did was take green and white garland and wound it around, starting with the green garland and leaving some space between, then I went in with the white and filled in the empty spaces.

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The base I'm using for my Advent Wreath is a black pizza pan that I turned upside down. Again, like I said, using whatever I already have on hand instead of going out and spending money.

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I think we all have these little red bows laying around for Christmas, I just used four, I didn't want to overcrowd it.

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For my candles, I used 4 white tapers (tomorrow I'm going to dig into my ribbons and use purple one to wrap around the candles), set them inside little glass votive holders that I had in my bedroom.

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Obviously I need the candles to stay in place and these votive holders are too wide, so I used another candle to drip some wax into the votives and then set the candles in. They were still a little wobbly, so I used some white river rock pebbles and filled them in.

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For the middle candle, I used a red votive and set it on top of the other 4.

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And here is my finished Advent Wreath. It cost me nothing, zero, zilch, nada because I used a little of this and little of that of whatever I already had on hand.

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If you have your own wreath I would love to see it and if you don't, I'm hoping maybe you will be inspired to make yourself one and begin a new tradition with your family.

Remember this Sunday, the 29th, is the first Sunday of Advent and would be the first day to light one candle.

Another tradition we're going to incorporate is to read a little bit of the Birth of Christ to the children every Sunday as we light the candles.

First Candle
Color: Purple
Theme: Hope
First Sunday in Advent

Second Candle
Color: Purple
Theme: Love
Second Sunday in Advent

Third Candle
Color: Purple or pink
Theme: Joy
Third Sunday in Advent

Fourth Candle
Color: Purple
Theme: Peace
Fourth Sunday in Advent

Optional Center Candle
Color: White
Theme: Christmas
Christmas Day

7 comments:

FlowerLady said...

Good morning Sandra ~ Thank you for the story about the advent wreath and candles. I had not heard it before. You did a lovely job making yours.

FlowerLady

everyday mom of one said...

I was like you and knew nothing about an advent till a couple of years back. Now we have a wood carved advent that my MIL bought back from Germany. Last year we used it with Little One reading a page from his baby bible each week.

Sherry said...

We've used one for the past couple of years. I really like that it reminds you to focus on the true meaning of Christmas!

I made your honey mustard chicken pasta last night - and oh boy - it was once again delish!

Sherry

Grandma Elsie said...

I did not know this. I love it.Since its just me at home I won't make one but its a lovely idea.

Conny said...

YES, I have always had an advent wreath! My mother's family is German ... and you can't be German & NOT have an advent wreath :) I really am glad you're sharing about this wonderful way to focus on Christmas - and your wreath is LOVELY especially since it is handmade!

Totallyscrappy said...

Many years back our ladies' group got together to make Advent wreaths. I've updated mine a few times, but I still love to bring it out.
Enjoy your new tradition.

Mississippi Songbird said...

How beautiful! I didn't know it's meaning.. Thanks for posting this. You did a wonderful job. I hope you and your family had a nice Thanksgiving. I'm not blogging much anymore.. Happy Holidays!