Advent Wreath Link-Up: Our First Annual Celebration of Advent Wreaths

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Welcome to our first annual Advent Wreath Link-Up here at CatholicMom.com! We’re glad you stopped by!

Advent Wreath Link-Up at CatholicMom.com

At the end of this post, you’ll have a chance to share your wreaths in the link-up, which we’ll keep live through December 25 at midnight.

I’m a huge fan of the Advent wreath, and, in fact, I have a whole talk I give centered around it.

Both of my Advent wreaths before a recent talk.

Both of my Advent wreaths before a recent talk.

Advent wreaths are fun for a lot of reasons, and I think, for me, it comes down to this: flames are fun. There’s a reason so many women I know have candles burning. And there’s no doubt I know there’s a reason why the men I know love the day when they have to go into the back field to burn the pile of brush.

I have the standard issue simple wreath, and that’s what we have on the dinner table.

The Advent wreath that's on the dinner table.

The Advent wreath that’s on the dinner table.

And then there’s the Advent wreath that tells the story that my aunt used to tell me. I’ll share it here in an abbreviated form. Though I’ve lost the paper she gave me years ago (I have no doubt I’ll find it someday with St. Anthony’s help), I did find the inspiration for this at Living Hope.

This year, this wreath is on the bar between our kitchen and living room. It’s a catch-all sort of place, and I was hoping putting this wreath there would help me be inspired to keep it cleaned off. As you can tell from these pictures, I’ve not be tooooo successful with that…

The first week of Advent, we light the candle by Mary.

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I reflect on Mary receiving the visit from the angel and saying Yes. I consider how she is the fulfillment of many prophecies. She’s also the embodiment of hope. And she reminds me, in ways I so often need, that this season of Advent is all about hope.

The second week of Advent, we light the candle by Joseph and Baby Jesus.

My aunt called this the “Bethlehem Candle,” and it’s a call to remember how we are to make room for the Baby in our own hearts.

The third week of Advent, we light the candle by the shepherds.

Advent wreath - shepherd

The shepherds were the first to hear the Good News. Consider how humble and poor they were, how they were the very lowest of the low in the society of their time. (And do NOT consider what a MESS that counter was when I took this picture!) I also consider that this is the week of the rose candle (NOT pink, my priest reminds me every year). It’s a call to rejoice. And that’s what the shepherds did!

Then, on the fourth Sunday of Advent, we light the candle by the angel.

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The angels remind us that God sent his Son to save us. And they should also be a reminder to us of just what an amazing thing that is. We’re so used to God becoming man that it’s all too easy to downplay it in our lives.

And then, on Christmas, we light the Christ Candle. That’s the big white one in the center. In my second wreath, it’s a candle that one of my students gave me last year when I was teaching 5th grade religious education. Someday, I hope to use that idea to make each of my kids their own Advent wreaths (hey, one of you crafty types, come up with an easy way for that, wouldja?). It’s a refillable candle from the Catholic store near us, and it burns uber-long.

Now it’s your turn!

I’m looking forward to the tour of Advent wreaths!

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17 Comments

  1. Pingback: Our Advent Wreath — A Haiku | The Practicing Catholic

  2. I love how you use the Nativity characters and reflect upon different aspects of the Christmas story using your Advent wreath!

    I also love that I’m not the only one who has a hard time keeping the kitchen island cleared from clutter. Just this morning, I told the kids that we should have a “no toys on the counter” rule. I am sure that will be impossible to enforce!

    • I have that rule. Problem is that there’s some lady who keeps her computer on that counter (because the short people follow her into the “office” so why not stay out where the food is?) and then she has books there and and and.

      The kids are following someone’s lead…if I could just whip that lady into shape… ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I love this, Sarah! I love how simple and yet how significant the Advent wreath tradition is. It’s the one thing I remember the most from when I was a little girl and that I hope our kids will also.

    I’m still working on uploading my picture to share.

    P.S. Don’t take this the wrong way but I LOVE how honest you are about the reality of our kitchen and counter spaces. Makes me feel normal. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. This is great fun! And ladies — those of you lamenting the lived-in look — the kiddies fly away too soon! too soon!

    I assure you — you’ll miss them dreadfully, but, ahem, perhaps not the messes. Embrace the lived in kitchen; it’s a sign of home and comfort and belonging.

  5. I was just remembering last week, during the lighting of the first candle, how there was always so much commotion surrounding the lighting and extinguishing of the candles, amongst our large family. And I can recall almost dreading the whole ceremony every night @ supper, knowing that it was likely to be repeated, even though we actually had an order we tried to follow. Our children are all grown and gone, and I really miss that! So for all the young families, enjoy it when one of the children manages to put the flame out in the middle of the prayer!

  6. Pingback: December at CatholicMom.com - call her happy

  7. Pingback: An Advent Wreath: It Only Took Me 17 Years!

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