03 December 2011

Advent Wreath

I remember making Advent Wreaths every year when I was growing up. A centerpiece with some Christmas greenery, small colorful ornaments, and four white candles. We had a special ceramic ring for the wreath. The candles would be lit one at a time, on Sundays only. They were allowed to burn for about an hour, and then extinguished. The following Sunday two candles would be lit, then three, and finally, on Christmas Day, all four.

Not once have I seen a homemade Advent Wreath in this land I call home now. I never hear talk of the first, second, third, and fourth Sunday of Advent. Is it something that only happens in church, a place that I don't visit very often anymore? Or is the homemade Advent Wreath a European, perhaps even Dutch, custom? Is it just a Catholic thing? I am not sure. But I miss it.

I made my first Advent Wreath this year. I stocked up on my favorite candles during my visit to Holland, although an advent wreath was not on my mind when I bought them. Since they are quite burly, we burn the candle(s) every day when the sun sets.

My mom still makes her Advent Wreath in that ceramic ring. Mine is quite different but I am very happy to have this as a part of my family's Christmas traditions.


Andrea H said...

Hey Hanneke - We made these every year in Sunday School when I was a kid, and brought them home. They usually had a red candle in the center to light on Christmas day, as well.

But then again, it was a Lutheran Church, so that goes back to that European thing... :)

Anonymous said...

Hello, and Merry Christmas. My family and i have been either making or buying an Advent Wreath every year and lighting and marking the 4 weeks before Christ was born since my husband and i were married in 1987. I was not raised with this in my church but find it a wonderful tradition our family embraced as part of my husbands German heritage. Our candles are either 3 purple, 1 pink and a center white candle or 4 red and a center white candle for Christ lit on 24 December. Sheila

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