Saturday, November 30, 2013

Celebrating Advent at Home: Advent Wreath

The Advent Wreath

Although the true origin of the advent wreath is not known, we do know that the advent wreath started being used in the Middle Ages by the Catholics. Each part of the wreath has a significant and symbolic meaning. The four candles around the outside represent the four weeks before Christmas. Lighting the candles each Sunday and participating in the traditions of the Advent wreath are a wonderful way to help prepare our hearts and our families for Christmas, the coming of Christ.

If you want more history on the Advent Wreath, the Catholic church explains the history here.

The tradition of the Advent Wreath is commonly done at church, during the services on the four Sundays prior to Christmas to help celebrate the season of advent and prepare us for the coming of Christmas, but as I was growing up we did it at home as well. I loved it growing up as it kept us centered and made us closer during this season. The wreath has three purple candles and a pink candle around the outside and a white candle in the middle. Each Sunday night we light the candle for that week (and any candles for the weeks prior), read a scripture, sing a song or two and then have a small discussion. On Christmas Eve, we light all the candles and the white Christ candle in the middle. This is done at the Christmas Eve service at church and then at home right before we went to bed.

Our Advent Wreath at Home

Week 1: Purple candle of Hope
Week 2: Purple candle of Love
Week 3: Pink candle of Joy (some traditions have 4 purple)
Week 4: Purple candle of Peace
Christmas Eve: White Christ candle

If you are interested in more about each week, or a guide to follow for each week, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church have good family devotions for each week:
Advent Home Worship (United Methodist)
 Lighting of the Advent Wreath(Presbyterian)

 I really believe it's never too young to do things like this even if your kids don't understand everything. If their favorite thing to do is blow the candles out each Sunday night when you get done its ok. They are soaking in a lot more than you think they are! I know because I am keeping my parents' tradition of doing the advent wreath at home as a family. The goal for my husband and I is to keep our family grounded and centered on Jesus' birth and the grand importance of it. I want my children to be thankful for the gift of Jesus Christ first.

God Bless,
Happy Advent,
and Merry Christmas,

Katie <><

**SIDE NOTE: I bought the octagon mirror, purple/pink/clear candle holders and votive candles for under $20 at Hobby Lobby! It was super easy to assemble/disassemble and is a beautiful decoration to leave out during the Advent/Christmas season!

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