Saturday, November 27, 2010

Advent Day 1

We are now entering the Time of Christmas in the Church year. This is one of my favorite times of the year. Christmas music is every where proclaiming the birth of our King and many of the decorations that we use serve as reminders of his holiness. All to often we find ourselves getting wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the season and allowing the secular celebrations to overtake what this time of year is really about. Over the next few weeks I will be encouraging you to make Christ the center of this holiday.

I would like to start by talking about the tradition of using the Advent wreath. Many homes have one but do you know why? What does it stand for and should it remind us of? And how should it be used?

The following information came from the following website.

Martin Luther had a number of ideas for things that people could do at home to teach the catechism to their children. He certainly didn’t invent the wreath itself, because that goes back to ancient Roman times, and probably even earlier. People used wreaths as an Advent decoration long before Luther, but Luther may have used the wreath as a Christian-education device and thus popularized it. I suspect he had a hand in it because the Advent wreath in its present form started in Germany as a Lutheran family custom. Since Advent wreaths were originally used in the home, most of the ones you find for sale are small. They didn’t become popular in churches until the middle of the twentieth century. Now they are nearly universal.

You can make an Advent wreath with either four or five candles. Just a note some churches use blue candles instead of Purple.

First Candle
Color: Purple
Theme: Hope
First Sunday in Advent
Second Candle
Color: Purple
Theme: Love
Second Sunday in Advent
Third Candle
Color: Purple or pink
Theme: Joy
Third Sunday in Advent
Fourth Candle
Color: Purple
Theme: Peace
Fourth Sunday in Advent
Optional Center Candle
Color: White
Theme: Christmas
Christmas Day

Now how are we to use the Advent wreath? Each day during our devotion time we light the candle or candles that go with that week of Advent. For example tonight we will light the 1st purple candle and read our devotion then snuff it out at the end. We will repeat this each night. Then on week two we will light two purple candles and so forth. Many churches offer advent devotionals that you can use during this time. Our family is currently using the Treasury of Daily Prayers book for our devotion time.
Let us go forth and Prepare for the celebration of the birth of our heavenly King.

Sing Praises to Your King!

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