A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Special Wreath

The wreath I'm talking about is an Advent wreath.It is made of various evergreens, signifying continuous life. The laurel signifies victory over persecution and suffering; pine, holly, and yew, immortality; and cedar, strength and healing. Holly also has a special Christian symbolism: The prickly leaves remind us of the crown of thorns, and one English legend tells of how the cross was made of holly wood. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the everlasting life found in Christ. Any pine cones, nuts, or seedpods used to decorate the wreath also symbolize life and resurrection.
The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. Three are purple, one is rose, and a white candle in the middle. Purple symbolize the preparatory good works undertaken at Advent. The rose, the midpoint of Advent  means we are joyfully close to Christmas.The white candle represents Christ and is lit on Christmas Eve.
I don't remember a lot about Advent in my youth...it is a more recent memory. There wasn't an Advent wreath in our home....I do remember an Advent calendar. It was brought home from Sunday School and hung on the refrigerator where I would open a little door each day. The last door was a small picture of a baby in a manger. Now days... Advent calendars are not all religious. I do think having a religious one is a sweet way to teach children about the Christmas story.They are selling Advent calendars at our Church...where a piece of chocolate is given each day. When my kids were growing up...there was no chocolate...Just opening a little door was treat enough. They took turns...it was made of paper....and after so many years of use...it wore out.
We  have a tradition at our Church, where we sign up to light the candles...one each Sunday in Advent. It's a wonderful tradition to see families come together to light a candle. A dad lifting a little one up to light a candle. The look of joy and accomplishment in the little one's face. We all can have that joy during this season. We are preparing for the Christ Child's birth.


Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

My church has families light the advent wreath too - so sweet :-)

Katie said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing all of the symbolism, I think it is so important that we paint these symbolic pictures in our children's minds, as well as our own.

Balisha said...

A special time of year. We set up the Nativity during Advent. It is so wonderful...the little kids stop and look at it as they come to Mass. I love to see their delight.

Katie...I have somehow lost your blog address. When I clicked on your name, it shows blogs that you follow, but not the name of your blog. Could you leave it for me?