Christmas will be here before we know it. It’s time to start gathering the things you need to help your family or classroom really get the most out of the season.
The Advent wreath is a part of many church services but it originally started in homes. The Advent wreath is a really great way to help our families focus on Christ throughout the season. There are many different versions on line. I want to share what I found out about how to put together an Advent wreath with you.
It all begins with a wreath. Insert four candles in a circle with one in the middle. Traditionally three of the candles are purple, the color of royalty, recognizing that this is the season of the coming of the King. If you can’t get purple candles substitute blue ones and be sure to tell the whole family the significance of the colors. Make one of the candles pink , technically, it is rose colored if you can find that. The fifth candle, that goes in the center of the wreath is white.
Tradiotionally the first candle, the prophet's candle is meant to signify the hope of Jesus' coming. The second, the Bethlehem candle honors the city of Christ's birth. The third is the shepherds' candle. The fourth candle, the angels' candle, symbolising the angelic proclamation of joy at Christ's birth. The fifth and white candle represents the Christ child. Be sure to let the family know the title of the candle and what it signifys each week.
The best use of the wreath would be in conjunction with personal or family devotions on the four Sundays in Advent.
• 1st Sunday in Advent - light the first candle. Read Isaiah 60:2-3
Possible prayer: Father God, we light this candle realizing that Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, is the light of the world. We who have sat in darkness have seen a great light, the light of Jesus Christ. He has become our salvation. In His holy Name, we thank You for sending the light. Amen.
• 2nd Sunday in Advent, light the first two candles. Read Micah 5:2 and Matthew 2:1-6 . Sing O Little Town of Bethlehem
Possible prayer: O holy Child of Bethlehem descend to us, we pray. Cast out our sin and enter in be born to us today. We hear the Christmas angels their great glad tidings tell O come to us, abide with us Our Lord Emmanuel. Amen
• 3rd Sunday in Advent, you light the two candles from the previous weeks, in the order you lit them before, then you add the third one. Read Palm 23 and Luke 2:8, 15-18
Possible prayer: Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Great Shepherd. We like sheep have gone astray but now we have found You to be the way to forgiveness and life eternal. We give You thanks and praise because You are the good shepherd who gave Your life for the sheep. In Your name we pray, Amen.
• 4th Sunday in Advent, you light the three candles from the previous weeks, in the order you lit them before, then you light the fourth one. Read Luke 2:8-14. Sing Angels We Have Heard on High
Possible prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Like the shepherds long ago who heard the angels jubilee, we too have heard the glad tidings of Your Son’s birth. It feels our hearts with joy and song and we too come to worship. In His Holy Name, Amen
(You should get a stair-step effect, since each candle is a different length by now.)
• 5th candle in the center is lit on Christmas Day- you light the four candles in the order you lit them before, and then you light the center candle. Read Luke 1:68-79 and Luke 2:1-20.
Possible prayer: Thank You, Father for willingly sending Your only son Jesus to come live on this earth, to save us from our sins. Thank You, Jesus for coming gladly because of the joy set before You, the joy of our salvation. You came as a babe. You suffered and You died. You rose again in victory making the way for everyone who will come to You to have forgiveness and eternal life. Thank You hardly seems enough, teach us to give our lives for others as well. In Your precious holy name, we pray, Amen.