Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Advent Wreath



The Advent season is here!  In our church, we celebrate this by lighting a candle on the Advent wreath each Sunday until Christmas Eve.  I have so many fond memories of this which started when I was 7 years old.  As a child, when the Advent wreath came out at church, it meant Christmas was oh, so close.  As an adult, I still get excited, but not for the same reasons.  Christmas is my favorite time of year and I love to reflect on the birth of my Savior. 

This past Sunday, we lit the candle of HOPE.





The Advent wreath is a circle of evergreen branches representing eternity.   On the wreath, five candles are arranged.   Each candle represents an aspect of the spiritual preparation for the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Set on the branches of the wreath are four candles: three purple candles and one pink candle. In the center of the wreath sits a white candle. Together, these candles represent the coming of the light of Christ into the world.

On the first Sunday of Advent, the first purple candle is lit. This candle is usually 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.


compliments of The Graphics Fairy


Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

Week 2 ~ A   candle symbolizing God’s LOVE ~ This is sometimes called the Bethlehem Candle, symbolic of the manger.  God sent His only Son to earth so save us, He loved us that much.
(see John 3:16-17)


Week 3 ~ A   candle is lit, symbolizing JOY  ~ This is sometimes called the Shepherds candle.  When Jesus was born, the angels brought “good tidings of great joy”. 
(see Luke 2:7-11)


Week 4 ~ A   candle symbolizing PEACE, sometimes called the Angels candle.  Jesus is the Prince of Peace and through Him, peace is found. 
(see Isaiah 9:6)


Christmas Eve – The center candle, called the Christ Candle.  The color white represents Jesus, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God, sent to take away our sins.  Those who receive Him as their Savior are washed of their sins and made whiter than snow.  

Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
John 1:29

I'll leave you with a few resources in regards to the Advent season, links are below.  Have a blessed week my friends.  



Ann Voskamp (author of One Thousand Gifts) has a lovely series on Advent.
Advent Devotionals


Advent Lessons - Teaching Through the Nativity


Celebrate Advent ~ Focus on the Family

7 comments:

Carole Robb Bisson said...

Our church doesn't celebrate Advent per se and I miss it. Trying to teach the Sunday School class and this has been a great help to me, an answer to prayer as it were. Thank you,
Carole

Vee said...

We celebrated Advent for a few years. I'm afraid that it has gone by the way...usually for lack of planning. It was a wonderful way to honor the season. Miss Sandi at Quill Cottage did a wonderful series on Advent some years ago now. She included the readings and Scriptures, which make it so memorable.

Sheila Thomas Hill said...

BEAUTIFUL! h, sth

Ceil said...

Hi Abby! I love our home Advent wreath. We've used one all our married lives, and as a girl at home too.

I was so interested in your explanation of the weeks. I was given an Advent Wreath that was for four candles, and it listed Love, Peace, Joy etc. I didn't know why. Now I do!

Have a blessed day :)
Ceil

Maxine D said...

Thank you Abby - we use an Advent wreath at our church too.
I am also listening to a series of advent devotionals on the Christian radio station we listen to - and the focus is on the second coming of Jesus. It is very interesting.
Blessings
Maxine

SarahGeorge said...

Wonderful post Abby! I've always wondered what the term advent meant as we don't follow the things you've mentioned but we have churches with the name Advent. This was a very useful post for me. Thank you for sharing :) And picture with he wreath and purple candles is simply beautiful!

Stephanie said...

It is a joy to visit, Abby, and to read your wonderful posts. I must admit to you that I have not done an advent candle and I don't think my church has ever done this either. I absolutely love it and I am very thankful for your sweet explanation. I would love to do this next year in my home :) Thanks for sharing, sweet friend!