Winter is upon us and is indicative of celebration. After Thanksgiving and leading up to Christmas falls the season called Advent. This is a time to reflect and recall the events preceding the coming of Christ and an advent wreath is very helpful in doing this.
What is advent?
Advent is the anticipation of the coming of Christ. It is celebrated during most of December. This season starts on the Saturday evening before the fourth Sunday before Christmas and goes till Christmas eve. It is then followed by Chrismtas Day and the twelve days of Christmas.
Traditionally, this is a religious idea and not simply a way to count the days till Christmas. The key moments are the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Celebrating advent is a wonderful way to walk through the stories and themes leading up to the birth of Christ as well as his second coming through the whole month of December.
What is an Advent wreath?
An advent wreath is a wreath used during the advent season to symbolize different parts of the story preceding Christ’s birth. The themes highlighted by different candles are the prophecy of Christ’s birth, the place of his birth which is Bethlehem, the shepherds coming to worship, and the angels and their message of “Peace on earth”.
There are many several ways to celebrate advent with an advent wreath. Traditionally, I believe, one candle is lit on each sunday (starting the night before each Sunday since traditionally days actually start the evening before each day) adding another candle each Sunday until all are lit on Christmas eve. They are also enjoyed on Christmas day as the celebration of Christ draws all the pieces of the story together.
Different scripture is read everyday for the whole advent season not just on Sundays; however, this can be a lot especially if this is your first time really celebrating Advent. You can also just highlight each Sunday.
How many candles should go on an Advent wreath?
There are five candles on the advent wreath: three purple, one pink, and one white.
What do the candles and their colors mean?
The first candle is a purple one and is called the prophecy candle. This reminds us that Christ’s coming was revealed by God through the prophets hundreds of years before he was born.
The second is also a purple one but is called the Bethlehem candle signifying the place of Christ’s birth.
The third is the shepherd’s candle. This one helps remind us to come to Christ to worship him, believe in him, and share with others that he has come for them as well.
It is also called the Gaudete candle which means rejoice. While the three purple call us to ponder more sober thoughts, this candle calls us to rejoice because of the good news of Christ’s birth. This is why it is a different color.
The fourth is the last purple candle and is the angel’s candle which helps us recall the message of peace and Christ’s second coming when he will bring lasting peace.
The white candle is the Christ candle and is lit in celebration of the coming of Christ. Usually this is the largest candle of the advent wreath since all the other ones symbolize themes that prepare our hearts and minds for him.
What do the colors of the candles mean?
During advent, purple or violet represents a time of prayer, reflection, repentance, and sacrifice. Pink or rose is the color symbolizing joy. White signifies purity, innocence, light, and birth.
What scripture is read during Advent?
Here are scripture references to be read each evening. We also like to light the appropriate candle while singing a hymn before reading the passage. We slowly work through this list of verses reading one each day.
During the week of the 4th Sunday before Christmas, light the first purple candle (Prophecy Candle) and read…
- Malachi 3:1-4, Isaiah 9:6-7
- Isaiah 55
- Isaiah 40:1-11
- Mark 1:1-8
- Isaiah 35
- John 1:1-18
- Isaiah 53:1-5
During the week of the 3rd Sunday before Christmas, light the first and second purple candle (Bethlehem Candle) and read…
- Micah 5:2
- Matthew 1:18-25
- Isaiah 9:2-7
- Matthew 2:1-12
- Psalms 89:1-29
- Isaiah 42:1-9
- Luke 1:5-25
During the week of the 2nd Sunday before Christmas, light the first two purple candles and light the pink candle (Shepherd’s or Gaudete Candle) and read…
- Luke 2:8-20
- Jeremish 33:7-16
- Luke 1:39-56
- Isaiah 61
- Luke 1:57-80
- Revelation 1:10-18
- Revelation 21:1-7
During the week of the last Sunday before Christmas, light the first three candles and the last purple candle (Angels Candle) and read…
- Luke 1:26:-38
On Christmas Eve, light all the candles and read..
- Luke 2:1-20
Find the ADVENT READING PRINTABLE in the Free Resource Library!
What materials do you need to make an Advent wreath?
- Advent Wreath Ring – This optional but it does keep everything all together. 4 candle holders will work well, too.
- Advent Candles Set – I found one at Hobby Lobby.
- 1 White Pillar Candle
- 1 Pillar Candle Holder
- Green Tinsel or garland, pinecones, and/ or other decorations such as decorative picks and extra greenery
DIY Advent Wreath
- Gather all the materials.
- Wrap the tinsel or garland around the ring concealing everything except the candle holders. Leave some extra to fill in the center of the ring.
- Add the pillar candle holder to the center wrapping the extra tinsel around it to fill in the gap.
- Add the five candles. It doesn’t matter what order you place the tapered candles.
- Add the decorations.
MORE ON HOMEMAKING!