Saturday, November 28, 2009

First Sunday of Advent; wreaths and readings

Readings for the First Sunday of Advent

How To Make Your Own Wreath (if you couldn't make it to the church's Advent Wreath making event)

The Advent wreath, or circle, of evergreens, made in various sizes, placed on a table. The devotion is usually incorporated during the family meal, or during family evening prayers. Fastened to the wreath are four candles standing upright, at equal distances. These candles represent the four weeks of Advent. Three of the candles are purple, reminding us of the penitential nature of the season. A rose or pink candle is lit for the Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete (rejoice) Sunday. The name is taken from the entrance antiphon or Introit "Rejoice (gaudete) in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice." It is reminding us that the end of Advent is almost here, and we can hardly contain our joy.

The wreath should be in a circle, a symbol of eternity, and a reminder that God has no beginning nor end. The evergreen is a symbol of eternal life.

The appearance of the actual Advent wreath is varied—everyone has their own interpretation of the Advent wreath. The look of your family's wreath depends on how much time and creativity you have to devote. Your family can create their own special wreath, or add personal touches to a store-bought wreath. With this devotion being so popular, one can go into any craft or garden store and buy a wreath. Any religious goods store carries several varieties, and the prices range from inexpensive to very costly.

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