Lighting of the Advent Wreath: A Meaningful Tradition
November 29, 2017
By Susan Ziegler, Worship Chairman
I am hoping that everyone had the chance to take a look at the beautiful Chrismons that were placed on our trees this last Sunday. This week, we look forward to the fourth Sunday before Christmas and the first Sunday of Advent by lighting the Advent Wreath.
Symbols Within the Advent Wreath
The Advent Wreath is a circular evergreen wreath with five candles — four blue or purple candles surrounding the white Christ candle in the center. The circle of the wreath reminds us of God Himself and His eternity and endless mercy which has no beginning and no end. The green of the wreath speaks of the hope that we have in God, of newness, renewal, and eternal life. The candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His Son. The four outer candles represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent, which themselves symbolize the four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming.” The lighting of the Advent candles replaces the traditional Call to Worship and is meant to to help us prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ Child and the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love that is in our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Families Participate in Tradition
Several of our Mt. Bethel families will be stepping forward at each Sunday service, beginning this December 3, to read scripture and light the appropriate colored candle that will represent the four periods of waiting; Hope, Preparation and Peace, Proclamation and Joy, and Revelation and Love, with the final white Christ Candle lit on Christmas Eve.
As with our Chrismons tradition, I hope you will take a moment to observe our Advent Wreath and be reminded of this time of preparation and waiting that we are about to begin.