Happy December and Advent.
The advent wreath is used to symbolize newness, eternal life, and the death and resurrection of the promised Messiah. The lighting of advent candles and prayers recited in the weeks leading up to Christmas are done each Sunday.
Here are some traditions around the wreath. The wreath is a circle symbolizing eternal life. Evergreens, holly leaves, berries, and seeds are sometimes added to the Advent wreath as well. Holly leaves can be prickly and therefore used to represent the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’s head during his crucifixion. Berries, which are typically red, also point to Christ’s sacrifice and the blood shed for sins. Pinecones, seeds, and nuts are also placed within the wreath as a symbol and promise of new life. Together, the elements of the Advent wreath reflect the new life and eternal salvation offered through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Advent I we light the first blue candle for HOPE
Advent II we light the second blue candle for PEACE
Advent III we light the pink candle for JOY and the Blessed Virgin Mary
Advent IV we light the fourth blue candle for LOVE
On Christmas we light the final candle symbolizing Jesus Christ as the Light of the world. The Advent wreath stays lighted throughout Christmastide which ends at Epiphany, celebrated in 2021 on January 10th.
I hope all of you are lighting an Advent wreath right along with us. It can be a family time to gather and WAIT and be prepared.