Meaning of the Advent Wreath

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The Advent Wreath

First Sunday of Advent

First Sunday of Advent the Candle of “Hope” or “Expectation” is lighted, scripture is read, a devotional may be given, and prayer is offered.

We have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. Our Hope comes from God.
Romans 15:12-13

Second Sunday of Advent

Second Sunday of Advent the ”Candle of Love” or in other traditions the ”Candle of Peace” or the ”Candle Preparation” is lighted, scriptures is read, a devotional may be given, and prayer is offered.

Preparation means to ‘get ready’.
Help us to be ready to welcome You, O God!
Luke 3:4-6

Third Sunday of Advent

Third Sunday of Advent the Rose or Pink Candle of Joy is lighted, scripture is read, a devotional may be given, and prayer is offered.

The Angles sang a message of Joy
Luke 2:7-15

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Fourth Sunday of Advent the ”Candle of Peace” or in other traditions the ”Candle of Love” is lighted, scripture is read, a devotional may be given, and prayer is offered.

God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because God loves us!
John 3:16-17

Christmas Eve (after sundown)
or Christmas Day

On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day the central white ”Christ Candle” is lighted, scripture is read, a devotional may be given, and prayer is offered.

The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the sinless, spotless Lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins! His birth was for his death; his death was for our birth!

John 1:29
John 3:1-8

Advent candle (altered) images created by llizard aka ejm www.llizard.etherwork.net




Since many churches do not have services on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, many congregations light the Christ Candle on the Sunday before Christmas with all five candles continues to be lighted for services through Epiphany on January 6th. (If Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, it is counted as the fourth Sunday of Advent, with Christmas Eve beginning at Sundown.) *In most traditions the first week of Advent is the Candle of Hope. In most traditions the third week of Advent is the Candle of Joy. But apparently there are many different traditions on the second week of Advent, and lesser differences on the fourth week of Advent.

In ancient times the cedar was revered as the tree of royalty. It also signified immortality and was used for purification. We place the cedar branch as a sign of Christ, who reigns as King forever, and who’s coming, in justice and righteousness, will purify our hearts. During this Advent, wherever you see a lighted Christmas tree, let it call to mind the One who brings light to our darkness, healing our brokenness, and peace to all who receive him. NUMC



Meanings and Symbolism
of the Advent Wreath

The four candles of the Advent Wreath represent the four weeks of Advent. The four outer candles represent the period of waiting during the four weeks of Advent, which themselves symbolize four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.

There are three purple candles and one rose candle. The purple candles represent the royalty and majesty of Jesus Christ as King; King of Kings. Purple also represents prayer, pertinence, and preparation.

The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday of Advent, also called Gaudete Sunday, when the priest wears rose vestments (robes, etc.) at Mass. Gaudete Sunday represented by the rose candle is the ”Candle of Joy” and rejoicing because the faithful, we are at the midpoint of Advent. We have been Preparing the Way for Christ, and we are close to Christmas for the Birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!

The weekly progression of the lighting of the candles symbolizes our preparation, prayer, penitence, our Hope and Expectation of Jesus Christ first Advent of coming into the world and the Anticipation of Jesus Christ’s second Advent of coming to judge the living and the dead.

The light that gets brighter each week and climaxes on Christmas day with the lighting of the Christ Candle which represents Jesus Christ as The Light of the World.

The light again signifies Christ, the Light of the world.

“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

We are also called to be a light to the world,
to reflect God’s love and grace to others.
For you were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light.

Ephesians 5:5

Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father, which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:15

Although we are commanded to let our light shine, deeds of righteousness must not be done for self-glorification. - Wycliffe Bible Commentary



Symbolism of the Advent Wreath

· The Advent Wreath is made of various evergreens ever-life,
life everlasting. The circle of the wreath (like a wedding ring) has no beginning and has no end; eternal life through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

· Cedar represents healing and strength.

· Holly reminds us of the Crown of Thorns that were place on the head of Jesus at his crucifixion.

· Red Holly berries represent sacrifice, sacrificial love; the blood of Christ which was shed for us on the cross.

· Pinecones and nuts represent symbolize life and resurrection through Jesus Christ.

· Laurel represents victory over persecution, suffering, and death.

There are many lessons to be learned
from the Advent Wreath.

There are many different Advent Wreath traditions. The most important thing about the Advent Wreath is not the candles, the candleholders, the wreath.... The most important thing about an Advent Wreath is the Circle of Family and Friends praying around the Advent Wreath.

The Advent Wreath is a wonderful time to get the family together before dinner; to all be together – to pray together! This is a time of prayer, giving thanks for your blessings, being thankful for what you have (a time to take your mind off of ‘what I want for Christmas list,’) a time to think of others, the people with less.

The Advent Wreath is an wonderful opprotunity to teach children the true meaning of Christmas; all of its meanings and symbolisms. Teaching children about the real St. Nicholas and the origins of Santa Claus are wonderful Christmas teaching tools!

The Christ Candle in the center reminds us that Jesus Christ should always be in the center of our lives! Jesus Christ is the true meaning of Christmas – Giving!



Comment

"Its an Unwonderful Life" is a parody of the 1946 Christmas classic, Frank Capras's "It's a Wonderful Life" with James Stewart and Donna Reed. Join our Bailey as he struggles with problems and contemplates suicide. Bailey meets his guardian angel and they travel back into the past and travel into the future of "what could happen." The twist this time is their startling conclusion that the world would be better off without Bailey! What a predicament; will Bailey jump or not jump from the bridge into the icy waters below? Join Bailey on his Christmas Eve roller coaster of a ride of Faith or Fear. Christian-fiction written by Osten Aune. Though “It’s an Unwonderful Life” is Christian-Fiction, this story is not a story written for young children. If this were a movie I would give it a PG-13 rating.