Advent wreaths were developed in Germany in the 19th century. Much like Advent calendars, the wreaths arose out of a sense of marking time across the Advent season in the lead up to Christmas. Having spread from Germany, it is a practice that has been employed in both corporate worship and in a domestic setting.
The Advent wreath usually consists of a horizontal evergreen wreath with four candles and often, a fifth, white candle in the center. Beginning with the First Sunday of Advent, the lighting of a candle can be accompanied by a Bible reading and prayers. An additional candle is lit during each subsequent week until, by the last Sunday before Christmas, all four candles are lit. Many Advent wreaths include a fifth, Christ candle which is lit on Christmas Day.
Here is some inspiration for making an advent wreath for your home, and an Advent wreath liturgy from St John’s Ashfield which uses the themes of hope, peace, joy, and love that you might like to use over the coming four weeks. An alternative liturgy which focuses on those who prepared for the coming of Christ may be found here.
1. Moss and cake tin wreath // 2. 5 minute wreath with cinnamon // 3. Hanging foraged wreaths
4. How to make wreaths from bay leaves, olive leaves and fruit // 5. A small, non-greenery wreath // 6. Succulent wreath
Please be careful to not accidentally set things on fire. If you are accident prone maybe your should consider using sand rather than greenery!
Do you have an Advent wreath tradition?