Dec 3, 2006

Blessing the Advent Wreath

What is an Advent Wreath?

A special wreath containing 5 candles and used as a reminder of the 4 Sundays before Christmas. Four of the candles are arranged in a circle and the fifth (a white candle) is placed in the center. Each Sunday and perhaps at each nightly family dinner, one candle is lit. On the 4th Sunday, all 4 candles are lighted. On Christmas, the 5th candle - the Christ candle - is lit.

What does it symbolize?

The Circle of the Wreath: God Himself, His eternity and His endless mercy, without beginning or end.

The Green of the Wreath: Our hope of newness, renewal and eternal life.

Light of the Candles: The Light of God that came into the world through Christ to bring newness, life and hope.

Lighting the Candles: The progressive departure of darkness from the world as more and more light is shed by the candles.

Four Candles: The four weeks of Advent, representing the four centuries between the time of he Prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.

Three Colored (purple or blue) Candles: A period of waiting, expectation and preparation.

The First Candle: A time of expectation and hope.

The Second Candle: The peace that is to come.

The Pink (or Rose) Candle for the Third Week: It symbolizes joy for the promise is almost fulfilled.

The Fourth Candle: The love of God for mankind.

The Fifth White Candle: Called the Center Candle or Christ Candle, it is lit on Christmas Eve or Day to display that the light of Christ has come into the world in fulfillment of the scriptures.

What blessing do you say for your Advent Wreath?

Leader: Our help is in the Name of the Lord

Who has made Heaven and earth.

Let us pray: O God, by whose Word all things are made holy, pour forth Your blessing upon this wreath, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ.

All: Amen

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