Friday, December 01, 2006

1st Day of Christmas - Advent Wreath

I've decided to count down the days of Christmas with a daily post. Each day of Christmas post will contain an explanation of a Christmas tradition. I hope you enjoy!

(Information provided is based on The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel)

1st Day of Christmas - Advent Wreath

The Advent wreath is one way we can celebrate the birth of Jesus and His gift of salvation to us. The wreath consists of a circle of evergreen boughs with four candles around it (3 purple and 1 pink) and one white candle in the middle.

Circle of evergreen boughs - reminds us of God's forever love, a love with no beginning and no end.

1st purple candle - Prophecy or the Hope candle - invites us to thank God for the hope we have in Jesus, the prophesied Messiah.

2nd purple candle - Bethlehem or the Peace candle - the Prince of Peace was born so we sinners could be at peace with our God.

Pink candle - Shephard's candle or Joy - celebrate the good tidings of great joy that is for all people! Christ is born!

Final purple candle - Angel or Love candle - We join with the heavenly host to say "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14)

White Candle - Love has entered our world through the birth of Jesus.

Celebrating with the Advent wreath:

The celebration begins four weeks prior to Christmas. The fourth Sunday before Christmas, light the first purple candle. On the next Sunday light the first and second candles. Two Sundays before Christmas light the first two purple candles and the pink candle. The Sunday before Christmas you light all three purple candles and the pink one. On Christmas day you light all four candles and the white Christ candle.

Each Sunday discuss the meaning of the candle(s) being lit.

(Note: While looking online for pictures of Advent wreaths I found it interesting that I found tons of pictures, but most did NOT include the white candle in the middle. I wonder if this is significant?)

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