Sunday, December 02, 2007

Still Time for an Advent Wreath
A great Catholic family tradition

The Advent wreath is part of our long-standing Catholic tradition. It is a means of helping children deal with the anticipation for Christmas while focusing on the real “reason for the season.” It also emphasizes the father’s role as spiritual head of the household.

The symbolism of the Advent wreath is beautiful. The wreath is made of various evergreens, signifying continuous life. The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. The light again signifies Christ, the Light of the world.

In family practice, the Advent wreath is most appropriately lit at dinner time after the blessing of the food. On the First Sunday of Advent, the father of the family blesses the wreath and says the prayer for that week. The youngest child then lights one purple candle.

During the second week, the father says the prayer and the oldest child then lights the purple candle from the first week plus one more purple candle.

During the third week, the father prays and the mother then lights the two previously lit purple candles plus the rose candle.

After the prayer during the fourth week of Advent, the father (or as in our house, one of the other children – to avoid arguments!) then lights all of the candles of the wreath.

The prayers aren’t that long and can be found by clicking on the headline at top.

Since Advent is a time to stir-up our faith in the Lord, the wreath and its prayers provide us a way to augment this special preparation for Christmas. Moreover, this good tradition helps us to remain vigilant in our homes and not lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.


Blogger ignorant redneck said...

We did that tonight.

9:07 PM  
Blogger VSO said...

Hey Cavey, how bout a post concerning the history of this tradition? I know it preceded the Schism by centuries and is practiced in Western Orthodox homes.

Unfortunately it's alien to the Eastern Rites.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Click on the post's title for a brief history.

8:59 PM  

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