The Advent wreath, also known as the Advent light wreath, conveys the joy of the Christmas season, serves as a tool to teach us about faith, love and personal development and serves as a reminder that light and life will ultimately triumph.
Advent Wreath – Advent Candles and Wreaths
The wreath serves as a reminder that Christmas is coming and that we should prepare ourselves. It is customary to create a circular wreath that serves as a reminder that the creator of the universe has no beginning and no end.
Green branches of pine, cypress, Cupressus, Araucaria, or other tree species, which are wrapped with red ribbons as a symbol of the love we give and that the Creator of the universe gives back to us, remind us of life and spiritual development and hope to be nurtured during Advent.
The wreath is placed on a tray and in its center are placed four candles – red, purple, or white – representing each of the four Sundays of Advent.
Dates Advent Wreath 2022
The season of Advent begins on the Sunday closest to November 30, the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle.
On November 27, 2022, the first Sunday of Advent, we will light the first candle of our Advent Wreath 2022.
You can check our 2022 Advent Calendar for a complete list of dates.
- On the first Sunday of Advent, which falls on November 27, 2022, this year, we light the first one (purple).
- On the second Sunday of Advent, which this year falls on December 4, 2022, the second candle (colored purple) is lit.
- On the third Sunday of Advent, which falls on December 11, 2022, this year, the third candle (pink) is lit.
- The fourth (purple) candle is lit on December 18, 2022, which is the fourth Sunday of Advent this year.
The center candle of the Advent Wreath is lit on the evening of December 24. Before lighting the candles, they are blessed or magnetized with the hands, ideally, as a family, meditated upon and wishes are made or decreed.
The ritual always begins facing east or east and it is advisable to decorate the wreath with cinnamon sticks, mustard seeds and red apples in the center of the wreath, next to the candles where the sun rises every Sunday, hopefully at the same time.
Video of how to make an Advent Wreath
Details you may not have known about the Advent Wreath
Evangelization and custom
The Advent wreath has its roots in a European pagan custom of lighting candles in the dead of winter to symbolize the fire of the sun god who would return with light and warmth. Early missionaries used this custom to evangelize the population. To teach them the Catholic faith, they began with their customs.
Why should it be in the shape of a circle?
Because a circle has no beginning and no end, it has a circular shape. It is a symbol of both God’s unending love and our unending love for the Lord and our neighbor, which must always be renewed.
Using a green branch
God wants us to seek his grace, to have sins forgiven and to eternal glory at the end of our lives. Green is the color of hope and life. The main aspiration should be to strengthen our relationship with God, who is also the Father of the tree and its branches.
It has four candles
The candles allow us to consider the darkness caused by sin, which blinds man and separates him from God. After the fall of the first man, God gradually restored the hope of salvation which, like the candles of the Crown, illuminated the whole cosmos.
In this sense, the centuries became more and more illuminated with the imminent coming of Christ into the world, just as the darkness fades with each candle we light. On each of the four Sundays of Advent and after praying a special prayer, the four candles are lit and placed on the Advent Wreath.
Includes one pink candle
Three purple candles and one pink candle are traditionally lit on the third Sunday of Advent as Advent Wreath candles. Because of the first word of the introit of the Mass, Gaudete, this day is also known as “Gaudete Sunday” or “Joy Sunday”. That is, to be joyful.
The priest’s vestments and altar linens are dyed pink during the Eucharistic Celebration on this day as a symbol of joy and the faithful are encouraged to celebrate because the Lord is near.
In some places, red wreath candles are used instead and on Christmas Eve, a white candle, known as a Sirius, is placed in the center to represent Christ as the epicenter of all that is.
- Decorate it as a family and, by describing this tradition and it’s meaning to the children, encourage them to celebrate Advent.
- To remind family members of Jesus’ arrival and the significance of preparing for Christmas, place it in a special place in the house, preferably in a fixed location where everyone can see it.
- Use a liturgy each week and decide in advance at what time the candles will be lit.
- Keep in mind that as we prepare for visitors, we also anticipate Jesus, the most significant visitor we can have in our family, through the wreath tradition.
- Pass out the roles in Advent liturgies among family members so that everyone participates and feels part of the celebration.
- Before the liturgy begins, prepare and clean the place where the wreath will be placed.
- Light and extinguish the candles.
- Play a carol or lead a Christmas song.
- Begin the prayers.
- Review the readings.
With information from ACI Press