Today is the first Sunday of Advent.
Yesterday our son and grandsons dragged all the boxes of Christmas decorations out of the attic and carried them to the basement so they would be handy to get to. We opened the box with the Advent Wreath and set it up on the dining room table. (Our Advent Wreath is around thirty years old.)
Usually the Advent ceremony is done at the evening meal, but today, because our son and his family were leaving, we did it at breakfast. In our family, the youngest child lights the first candle, so Gabriel, the two and a half year old, with some help from Grandma, lite the first violet candle. We sang the first verse of “O Come, Emmanuel” together. Next, Grandpa, as the head of the house, said a prayer of blessing over the wreath. Then we had scripture readings from the bible. First: Isaiah, chapter 11, verses 1-10 for the prophecy and Luke, chapter 1, verses 26-38 for the fulfillment.
Advent is the four weeks before Christmas. Advent means the coming or the arrival. It is a time of preparing for the coming celebration of the Christ Child, a time of waiting and hope. An Advent Wreath has four candles in a circle, three violet candles and one rose candle. A white candle rests in the center of the wreath. The circle of the wreath represents the eternity of God, which has no beginning or end. The greens used with the wreath represent the hope of renewal, of eternal life. The candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His Son. The four candles represent the four weeks until Christmas. Purple is the color of royalty to welcome the Advent of the King. It is also the color of penitence and fasting, preparation. The rose candle, which is lit on the third Sunday, represents the joy we feel for the nearness of the birth of the Baby. The center white candle is the Christ candle and is not lit until Christmas Day.
I love Christmas and everything about it.
What do you do in preparation for Christmas?