Monday, December 05, 2011
Advent - the wreath.
Advent is my most favourite time of year. As November draws to a close child like excitement effervesces quietly inside me as I plan and pray my way towards Christmas. This year my pleasure is enhanced by the joy of being 'home' - it is winter, and it is dark as we light our Advent candles , the symbolism of light dawning gradually in a dark world is strong after years of summer and tropical Christmases.
The Advent wreath is the focus of our celebrations. A simple ring of greenery symbolising the completness of God and renewal of our life in Christ and the utimate renewal we look for in his second coming. The four candles - three purple and one pink represent hope, peace, joy ( the pink one) and love. Another way of naming the candles is the patriarchs, the prophets, John the Baptist and Mary , the mother of Jesus. We light our candles on Sunday evening and pray using a family litany from the Upper Room website. The litany that we use is from 2008 and when I tried to find the link I was unable to, maybe it no longer exsists. The link given takes you to the 2011 litany.
This year we did not place a fifth candle in the centre of our ring.We are going to decorate our Christ candle this year: I plan to buy a simple white pillar candle and have the children carve and paint their own designs on it. In the busyness of end of term events, scout visits to the panto, school christmas discos etc. etc. I hope that this will be a quietly meditative activity to keep us centred on what is real.
Ah well, I can but try!