The Advent Wreath is a widespread German Christmas tradition that I have decided to make one of our own. That makes it this week’s Favorite German Find.
An advent wreath is made up of at least four candles, one for each Sunday before Christmas Eve. Sometimes a fifth candle is placed in the middle to be lit on Christmas day. I have seen the advent “wreath” in many different varieties in the local shops; sometimes it’s not a wreath, but a spray of greenery.
There are many different ways the advent candle lighting can be done. Some religions use this in part of their worship services saying prayers after lighting the candle(s). There are a lot of ideas available online. I am taking my ideas from this LDS based Advent Season link.
Advent = As the above link mentions, the word “advent” comes from the Latin word adventus interpreted as “coming” or “appearance”. We can reflect on the advent of the birth of Jesus Christ or his second coming. (Wouldn’t that be cool if we had an advent calendar for His second coming?)
Here is the version I like best for the symbols of the wreath as they pertain to Jesus Christ and Christmas:
Wreath = The never ending love from our Savior
Evergreen Branches = everlasting/eternal life offered through his death and resurrection
Candle Light = he showed and shows us the way as the Light of the World
White Pillar Candles = sis sinless unfailing example
Red Ribbon = blood that he shed for our sins
The chapel on Post offered the making of advent wreaths as a community activity last Sunday. Even though we didn’t go because it was during our church time, Alan helped prepare and clean up as part of the chapel staff and was able to score some leftover supplies.
So there we were, on a Monday evening after the completion of our wreathes and a finished movie (not Christmas related–fooey), pine needles all over the floor and no vacuum. These are the times to be grateful for small spaces. And cleaning ladies coming two days later.
And we had enough branches left over to give my new angel the perfect setting in the living room window.
I am hoping that the advent wreath enriches our Christmas with more focus on the reason we celebrate.