giovedì 20 ottobre 2011

Traditional Advent Wreath

Advent is a holy season in the Catholic Liturgical Calendar. It is the beginning of the liturgical calendar. It is a very special time, as Christians wait and prepare for the coming of the Lord, Jesus whose birth we celebrate on Christmas. Here we speak about four weeks of  advent Sundays. The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. A tradition is that each week represents one thousand years, to sum to the 4,000 years from Adam and Eve until the Birth of the Savior. Three candles are purple and one is rose. The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of His second coming to judge the living and the dead.The first purple candle is also known as the candle of prophecy. It can represent the promise that foretold Christ's birth or the hope we have in Christ. The second purple candle is a reminder of the peace that God brings to us by forgiving our sins. The third Advent candle is pink and represents the joy the shepherds felt at hearing the news of Christ's birth or the joy that God brings into our lives. The third purple candle represents God's love, demonstrated by His son's death to save us. This white candle sits at the center of the wreath and is not lit until Christmas Eve. This candle represents the birth of Jesus Christ.

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