Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advent is Here

It's the first Sunday of Advent, the first Sunday we'll light one of the candles on our Advent wreath.
Our oversized wreath has tall 7-day candles that stay lit throughout the week, until it's time to light another one the following Sunday.  We have back-up candles ready to replace the burned-out ones, until eventually we have all four lit up at the same time.  When we first started using this wreath about ten years ago, I was worried about leaving the candles burning while we were either sleeping or away from the house; but these pillar candles encased in glass are like the ones they use at church, and they are very safe.  So today, we will start our yearly Advent Wreath Ceremony by reciting the following prayer:

O God, by whose word all things are sanctified, pour forth by blessing upon this wreath and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and may receive from Thee abundant graces. Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Then my husband will light one of the three purple candles, and we'll pray:

O Lord, stir up Thy might, we beg Thee, and come, that by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins and saved by Thy deliverance. Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

I love Christmas, with all of its traditions--including the decorations, the tree with the gaily-wrapped presents under it, the sugar cookies shaped like stars and slathered with buttercream frosting and sprinkles, and the stockings hung by the chimney with care.
This year, three of our sons have girlfriends who will be with us on Christmas.  So I made them stockings out of red velveteen from Grandma's attic (remnants left over from the jumpers I made for my twin
granddaughters last Christmas). 
When I look at the stockings hanging on the mantle over the fireplace in our family room, visions of sugarplums dance through my head, and I am filled with a small child's Christmas joy: "Santa's coming!  Santa's coming!"  But it is in the Advent wreath that we find the true meaning of Christmas, because it symbolizes our anticipation of the birth of our Lord.  And every time I pass our living room and see the Advent candles burning, I am reminded of the true "reason for the season."


  1. How fun that you're going to have all the girlfriends for Christmas! Since Dan, Mike, and Jim will be home for Christmas can we send our Christmas card to your house? To make sure they all see it.... :)

  2. Yes, we're very psyched. Definitely send your card here so they can all enjoy it. :)