The Advent Wreath The Advent Wreath is a horizontal evergreen wreath with four or five candles. Discover the Christmas custom, story, myth and legend associated with the Advent Wreath. Our festive traditions and customs with their familiar symbols and meanings have evolved over time. But what is the history, meaning and origin of the Advent Wreath? This article provides facts and information about the history of the Advent Wreath as a familiar symbol, tradition and custom of our Christmas today.
The History and Origin of the Advent Wreath Some origins date back to the pagan traditions and customs of the ancients. Other symbols, customs and traditions have specific religious significance to the Christian religion and the Nativity of Jesus Christ. And finally there is the new, non-religious Christmas custom which has emerged due to increased prosperity and the commercialism of the festival in the modern world. Is the Christmas Custom, Origin and History of the Advent Wreath pagan, religious or modern? The Christmas Custom, Origin and History of the Advent Wreath is was rooted in pagan ceremonies, practised by the ancients. The ring, or wheel, of evergreens decorated with candles represented the eternal turning of the seasons. The evergreens and lighted candles signified the persistence of life in the winter and the light of the sun in the summer.
The Meaning of the Advent Wreath The meaning of the Advent Wreath is now religious. Advent is one of the Christian church’s ‘seasons’ that occurs immediately before Christmas and is a joyful time for Christians. The word is derived from the Latin word ‘adventus’ or ‘ad-venio’ which means ‘to come to’ or ‘coming’. The church may seem quite bare during this special season with no flowers on the altar apart from an Advent Wreath. An advent wreath consists of five candles, a candle is lit on each of the Sundays during the advent period to mark the seasons progress. The final candle is lit on Christmas day. This custom is practised in both the church and in homes.
Description and Meaning of the Advent Wreath Christian religious beliefs are symbolised in the wreath. The circular form of advent wreath with no beginning or no end symbolises that Christ’s love is never ending and he gives us eternal life. The light from the candles symbolises the anticipation of the arrival of the light of the world and its evergreen foliage represent enduring life. Holly is often used in the advent wreath and this represents the crown of thorns that Jesus wore when he was crucified. The holly’s red berries symbolize the blood Jesus shed for us.
The Candles of the Advent Wreath The candles of the wreath vary in colour and symbolize hope, peace, joy and love:
1st Sunday the Advent wreath displays a Purple candle symbolising Hope
2nd Sunday the Advent wreath displays a Purple candle which symbolises Love
3rd Sunday the Advent wreath displays a Pink or rose candle which symbolises Joy
4thSunday the Advent wreath displays a Purple candle which symbolises Peace
The centre candle, which is lit on Christmas day, is white. The custom of the Advent Wreath which is adopted in homes often have different colored candles such as gold and red which are the colors most closely associated with Christmas.
Advent Wreath Christmas is celebrated worldwide, throughout the Christian population of approximately 2275 million people, but is also celebrated by many non-Christians as a secular, cultural festival. A Christmas custom or tradition is symbolized by a familiar symbol or icon, such as the Advent Wreath, have come to represent the spirit and meaning of this special time of the year.
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The Advent Wreath
"Merry Christmas, have a happy and prosperous New Year!"