As a creative people, we are visual. We appreciate…are attracted to…color and imagery. The Advent Wreath is one of the most beautiful symbols of the church and serves to give us a focal point for our devotion and study as we journey to Christmas.
I’d like to tell you a story…
I’d first like to tell you about my friend from Florida. When my husband did his internship there, Ms. Vicky invited us over for Advent One dinner. It was dark, but as we pulled up to their home, I noticed 5 of those rather large plastic “candles” that have the “flame at the top” and plug in. They were about 3′ tall and 8″ or so in diameter. It was weird to me how they were just sticking up randomly all over her yard. It looked a bit like she had not finished her decorating. Until she came out to greet us and “lite” the first one by plugging it in. She started singing…”Light one candle to watch for Messiah…”
See, she had taken those plastic “red” candles and spray painted them all blue for Advent and one white for the Christ candle in the center. Each Sunday in Advent, she would plug in an additional candle. She turned her entire yard into a huge Advent Wreath.
With that story…know that there are no limits here for your creativity!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- 3 purple (or blue if you prefer)
- 1 pink/rose
- 1 white
Depending on your tradition the candles may represent various things. In some traditions the three purple candles represent Hope, Peace and Love. In others, and at times in the same traditions, they could represent Patriarchs, Prophets and the Virgin Mary. The pink candle represents Joy and/or John the Baptist. The white candle, which is lit during the Christmas Eve Service represents Christ, the Light of the World. A new candle is lit each Sunday of Advent, drawing us closer to welcoming the Messiah into the world. As the light grows with each candle, and our hearts await his coming, we wait with hope and peace, joy and love.
A circular stand or individual candle holders that can be set in a circle
Greenery to go around the circle of the wreath
Dating back to Christian devotions from the Middle Ages, the circular structure of the Advent Wreath is said to have been adapted from the pre-Christian cultures of Germany and Scandinavia where candles and greenery were used during the bleak cold and darkness of winter to remind them of the light and life that would come on the other side of the season.
MAKING THE WREATH:
Making an Advent wreath can be as simple as clicking here to order one. Searching Google to order one. Or ordering candles and a stand and spending time in your yard gathering greenery to use to weave around your stand. If you plan to share devotions as a family, I encourage you to allow your children to help decorate the wreath. And as a word of encouragement, as people of faith, we love our traditions. We can often get “hung up” on doing it “right,” Don’t let that rob the joy of a child’s creativity when decorating. Share the meanings of the symbols with them and allow them to develop and create their own version.
Make one out of paper, toilet paper rolls, what have you.
If the wreath is for you…then make it your wreath. If you want bows, or berries or birds…you can have them. Do what helps you draw closer to the anticipation of the Christ. What will make you feel more grounded and centered? That is what your wreath should look like.
Traditionally, the three purple and one pink candle are placed around the circle of the wreath. The white, Christ candle is placed in the center.
Creativity is meant to be shared…Take pictures of the wreaths in your home or in your church and share them here.