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Advent Wreaths

 

 

Advent wreaths

Anticipating the Season of
Light

   HomeAdvent Advent WreathsCatholic Christmas TraditionsLuke 2Christmas Pageants and Costumes  Christmas Nativities

 

Links On This Page
The Advent Wreath: A Catholic Community Tradition   
Advent Wreaths For Sale   Replacement
Candles for Sale


Advent Wreath Rituals  
Making Advent Wreaths   History
of the Advent Wreath
   Removing Evergreen Sap  
Pet Safety


Cleaning Up Dripped Wax

The Advent Wreath: A
Catholic Community
Tradition
 I was fortunate to grow up in a time and place where
the culture of Catholicism thrived. The Catholic traditions that marked the
arrival of each season in the Church year were shared experiences among friends
and neighbors. As Advent approached my sister and the neighborhood children anticipated the season
eagerly. Soon after Thanksgiving, on a frosty morning, we would dash into the field across from our home to cut fresh balsam, fir and cedar boughs, looking for the ones with bright red berries
or pine cones. We’d tie them with twine to birch wood or wire frames made from coat hangers,
making our own Advent wreaths.  Then there was the tortuous wait for
evening when our mothers  added the candles, perhaps scented with bayberry. It was a solemn and joyous night when the first candle was lit.

That was then. There were no ready made Advent Wreaths
available. Shrubs were shrubs and grew naturally without being carved into
manicured cubes or spheres void of fresh sprigs to trim.

Today, not everyone has the time or the resources to make a fresh wreath each year. Although we now have more than one advent wreath frame to dress with fresh evergreen each year, sometimes they go into hiding and I’ve had to make do with ordinary candlesticks until a reprieve in the “busyness” of the season allows me to get things properly set up before Advent is over! No more. This year I know just where it is.
At least I think I do.

We place our Advent wreath on our dinner table during the
season of Advent and often dine by its light alone. In the winter’s darkness,
the pale light of the candle reminds us of those who live without the Light of
Christ, those who live alone, and others who live in isolation.

Week by week the candlelight increases as we anticipate
the Birth of the Light of the world.

Our grace before meals is simple.

We pray, Come, Lord Jesus!

Today there are so many beautiful Advent Wreaths  available to suit
every family’s taste and budget. This year we were thrilled to see that one
local parish is offering Advent Wreaths for sale to parishioners. Each November we began to receive emails from our readers asking where to find Advent Wreaths and candles. 
You asked us and here it is.

Hint:  Do you know a newly married couple? A recent convert to Catholicism? An Advent Wreath would make a wonderful gift as they begin their lives in their Catholic home.

In this season that is all too rushed, it is a beautiful and peaceful way to slow down and savor the anticipation of the Incarnation of Our Lord.

Perhaps in keeping with the tradition of old monasteries, there might be a reader at the dinner table, so that whether alone or gathered with family, we can be fed by Scripture or the words of the Church Fathers.


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Advent WreathsAdvent
Wreath Rituals
On the first day of Advent, Catholic
families will set up Advent wreath — a wreath of greenery adorned by a set of
four candles — typically, three violet-colored, and one rose-colored to match
the priest’s vestments on each of the days the candles are lit. The wreath is
either set upon a table (especially the dining room table), on the family altar,
on pedestals, an end table, etc., or it can by suspended by ribbons from the
ceiling, such as from a light fixture. The candles can be long, slim tapers,
small votives, or fat pillars. There can be pinecones and such adorning the
greenery, but because Advent is a penitential season, it shouldn’t be highly
decorated with colorful ornaments. 

Read More

Advent WreathsMaking
Advent Wreaths
There are many ways to
construct an Advent wreath. They can be simple or elaborate, made from fresh
material or from artificial greenery. It is important to use something green
which symbolizes the new life brought to us by the birth of Jesus, and that it
be circular as a reminder of eternity. You can use fresh pine boughs – including
branches trimmed from the Christmas tree – or even ivy or holly. We like using
rosemary. You might also want to use artificial greenery if fresh is
unavailable. You can also use florist foam that has been soaked in water to keep
the greenery fresh

The History of the Advent Wreath

by Father William Saunders

Advent WreathsThe Advent wreath is part of our long-standing Catholic tradition. However, the actual origins are uncertain. There is evidence of pre-Christian Germanic peoples using wreathes with lit candles during the cold and dark December days as a sign of hope in the future warm and extended-sunlight days of Spring. In Scandinavia during Winter, lighted candles were placed around a wheel, and prayers were offered to the god of light to turn “the wheel of the earth” back toward the sun to lengthen the days and restore warmth.
Read More

Advent WreathsAdvent Wreath Prayers

and Customs

by Father Victor Hoagland, C.P.

The origins of the Advent wreath are found in the folk practices of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples who, during the cold December darkness of Eastern Europe, gathered wreaths of evergreen and lighted fires as signs of hope in a coming spring and renewed light.  (More)

 


Advent WreathsRemoving Evergreen Sap

Cornell University Labs recommends the following:

1. Dampen a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol, petroleum jelly or vegetable shortening.

2. Rub the spots or blot if the fabric is very delicate.

3. Wipe off with paper towel and wash remaining grease off with soap and water.

4. If all is not removed, use turpentine followed by soap and water.

 

Obviously use caution, keep alcohol and turpentine away from flames and use in a well ventilated area. More Cornell stain removal tips and precautions

here
.

 

Advent WreathsCleaning Up Dripped Wax

As much as we love candles at Advent and Christmas, drips are inevitable.Here are our best tips for cleaning up. On hard surfaces, including ceramic and pewter Advent wreaths, use a blow dryer to soften the wax. Wipe up with a paper towel or soft absorbent cloth. Use caution when using on tabletops that have been painted or coated with shellac.

On tablecloths, rugs, runners and clothing, place newspaper or a brown paper bag over the wax and iron it off. Use low heat and be sure to move the paper around to absorb all the wax. Be sure that you don’t iron a tablecloth directly on the table which can ruin the finish.

Advent WreathsPet Safety During Advent

Natural Advent Wreaths are a favorite in our Catholic home, but we are always mindful of the pets who have been part of our family. At left is Feeney, a two
five year old Puggle. who is our “other son.”

Here are tips from PAWS for pet safety.

Evergreen needles when ingested can puncture holes in intestines. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and lilies can be poisonous to cats and dogs. Water to keep evergreens fresh can harbor bacteria which can be harmful to pets. Be certain not to add aspirin which can kill pets. Evergreen needles and resin can cause allergic reactions to sensitive pet skin. Be sure  to keep them cleaned up and away from pets.

Birds may be tempted by decorative berries, even artificial ones which can create serious digestive problems. Never leave burning candles unattended. Not even for a second. Especially if you have cats. Or dogs with wagging tails. If your pet becomes ill and you suspect that it has eaten something poisonous, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-888-4-ANI-HELPUntil you get your dog to a vet provide supplemental fiber in the form of whole wheat or other high-fiber bread, canned pumpkin or Metamucil, any of which can help bulk up the stools the help the foreign material pass through the dog’s digestive system. Dosages depend on the size of the dog. For Metamucil, try a teaspoon for a small dog, a tablespoon for a big dog. For pumpkin, feed one-quarter to two-thirds of a cup.

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Advent Advent WreathsCatholic Christmas TraditionsLuke 2Christmas Pageants and Costumes  Christmas Nativities