First Sunday of Advent 2014

The Anglican church celebrates Advent, the time period leading up to Christmas. During the four Sundays preceding Christmas, Anglicans use Advent wreaths at church and in their homes to prepare for the birth of Christ. Making an Advent wreath is a simple way to celebrate Christmas with your family.

How to Make an Advent Wreath

An Advent wreath has a total of five candles -- one for each of the four weeks leading to Christmas and one for Christmas day itself. To begin, put four candles on a wreath or at least in a circle. Traditionally the candles are purple, because in antiquity, purple dye was very expensive and it was the color of royalty. We use purple for Advent because it is the season of the coming of the King. If you can’t get purple candles, you can substitute blue ones. You can also make one of the candles pink if you like—technically, it is rose colored. The fifth candle, it goes in the center of the wreath and it should be white. For the best appearance, make sure that all the candles are the same height, except the white one, which should be a little taller.

Counting Down
For each of the four Sundays leading up to Advent, light one candle on that week until they are all lit during the final week. The first purple candle symbolizes hope and the prophecy of Christ's arrival on earth. The second purple candle represents peace and the location of Christ's birth, Bethlehem. The third candle, which is the pink one, symbolizes joy and the shepherds who received the news of Christ's birth and went to worship him. The fourth candle, which is again purple, represents love and the rejoicing that Christians feel about Christ's birth. On Christmas day, light the white candle which represents the Christ child and his purity.

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