The Advent Wreath

The Advent Wreath
Originating in Germany several hundred years ago, it has
recently become a cherished custom for many families throughout
America. Children are deeply impressed with the beautiful
symbolism of the Advent Wreath. Their anticipation of Christmas,
the Birthday of Christ, increases as the ceremonies progress each
week of Advent.
The Christians preparing for their feast of light and life: the
Nativity of the Savior found this wheel or wreath an appropriate
means. Adding one light for each of the four Sundays in Advent they
think about the darkness without God after the Fall, the growing hope
for salvation, enkindled in paradise, nourished through the ages by the
prophets up to John, the Precurser, until the Morning Star who
announces the coming of the Sun came forth: the Virgin who bore a
The wreath without beginning and end stands for eternity; the
greens for life and growth; the four candles, preferably of beeswax
and blessed and set aside since Candlemas, present the ages “sitting in
darkness and the shadow of death,” each candle adding more light
until on Christmas the light from the wreath sets off, as it were, the
blaze of light on the “tree of life,” the Christmas tree, for the time is
The Blessing of the Wreath
The Blessing of the Wreath should take place on Saturday
evening before the first Sunday of Advent. Before the evening meal
the father, or in his absence, the head of the household, performs the
blessing in the presence of the entire family. The following prayers
are suggested:
Father: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who hath made heaven and earth.
Father: Let us pray. O God, by whose word all things are sanctified,
pour forth Thy blessings upon this wreath, and grant that we who use
it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and may receive
from Thee abundant graces. Through Christ our Lord
All Amen.