The Advent Wreath

by Josée

The advent wreath is a popular advent tradition. It is often used in Christian churches and homes as a way to prepare for Christmas.

An advent wreath has two basic components: the wreath and four candles. The wreath is commonly made out of evergreens (real or fake). The green branches symbolize the new life we have in Jesus and the circle the eternity of God’s love. The four candles, three purple and one pink, represent the four Sundays of Advent before Christmas. Purple symbolize prayer and penance while the pink candle, which is lit on the third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday), symbolizes rejoicing because it marks the half way point.

Additional decorations can be added to the wreath like nuts and pine cones to represent new life and resurrection or purple and pink ribbons to match the candles. I think it’s best not to get too extravagant though.

Using the Advent wreath at home is simple. You can light the candle(s) at dinner time or evening prayer time and say a prayer. There are many different Advent prayers and mediation books out there. Here are a few options:

Advent Wreath Prayer I (includes a blessing of the wreath)
Advent Wreath Prayer II
The Advent Wreath (scroll to the bottom for prayers)

If you are making an Advent wreath try to finish it in time to bring it to church this Sunday and have it blessed by your priest or pastor. If this isn’t an option you can say a blessing over it yourself.

Blessing of the Advent Wreath

A handmade Advent wreath from our university days.

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