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Celebrating Advent Virtually

Advent in 2020 begins on Sunday, November 29th.  We will light the first candle in the Sanctuary Advent wreath on that day as we  prepare our hearts and minds for the birth of the baby Jesus.  In the absence of celebrating in-person, we hope that you will join us by preparing or creating your own Advent wreath and lighting it each Sunday in Advent as we light the wreath in the Sanctuary.

To help you create your wreath, Lewinsville’s Flower Ministry team offers suggestions and tips on preparing your wreath in the video below.  We would love for you to share photos of your wreath, which we will share during Advent with the Congregation.  Send your photo to Bettie McElroy any week during Advent, but no later than December 16.

Your family may have questions about the history of Advent and meaning of the wreath and candles. The word “advent” comes from the Latin “adventus” and literally means “the coming or arrival.”  The tradition of the Advent wreath appears to have originated with German Lutherans in the 16th century.  Our modern traditions find their roots in 19th century Germany, though the tradition of a wreath with candles did not reach the US until the 1930s. 

The wreath is itself symbolic and traditionally is based on a circle that suggests God’s infinite love as well as a crown emblematic of victory. The traditional use of evergreens is intended to represent the eternal life brought by Christ while the candles signify the light of Christ in the world.  The use of four candles correspond to the four Sundays leading up to Christmas and the lighting of each candle anticipates the arrival of Jesus.   The use of four violet candles, or three violet and one rose (pink) candle, corresponds with the liturgical colors of Advent.  Each candle in the wreath bears symbolism as well:  the first Sunday, we light the Prophets’ Candle, symbolizing hope; the second Sunday, we light the Bethlehem Candle, symbolizing faith; the third Sunday, we light the Shepherds’ Candle, symbolizing joy; and the fourth Sunday of Advent, we light the Angel’s Candle, symbolizing peace. 

Enjoy your wreath each Sunday. You may also enjoy lighting the candles of your wreath each evening as you prepare for the birth of Jesus Christ.