The Advent Calendar isn’t the only way to mark the time before Christmas, in our home we always had a Traditional German Advent Wreath. Mom would bring it out for the first Sunday of Advent, and the Holiday Season would officially begin in our home. I couldn’t understand why other (non-German) houses I visited didn’t have them… but then, other houses would have the Christmas tree set up right after Thanksgiving, so there was a lot I didn’t understand….
Quick Look at the Contents
The Traditional German Advent Wreath
The traditional German Advent Wreath is usually a circle of evergreen set horizontally, with 4 candles spread around it. The wreath’s circular shape represents the everlasting love of God… and evergreen also represents a love that never dies. Often there will be one more candle, representing Jesus Christ, in the center. On each of the four Sundays before Christmas, a candles are lit. The candle lighting happens both in Church and in the home. On the first Sunday of Advent, you light just one candle, on the second Sunday you light two…and so on. On Christmas Eve all four candles are lit, along with one more in the center.
History Advent Wreath
According to history, the first Advent Wreath was constructed by a Protestant Pastor, Johann Hinrich Wichern, who constructed it after the children from the mission kept asking “how long until Christmas”. In fact, his wreath had small candles between the big ones, so they could see each day go by.
In our home, my sister and I would take turns lighting the candles for Sunday Breakfast, and then again at Afternoon Coffee. The table would be set with a festive tablecloth, the good china, and the Advent Wreath.
On Christmas Eve… all the lights in the house would be turned off, my parents would light the tree and the candles on the Advent Wreath. That special feeling…. stillness and light… there is nothing quite like it in the world.
Traditional pine wreaths are a beautiful centerpiece for your table. You can find artificial pine wreaths that can be used over and over, as well as natural wreaths that are used once…. and then you save the decorations to build a new wreath next year. Or, you can have a “wreath” that is made from wood or even metal.
Advent Wreath Meaning- Candles
Each candle holds symbolism.
Week 1- The Prophecy Candle, which represents the Prophets, primarily Isaiah, who foretold of Christ’s coming.
Week 2- The Bethlehem or Manger Candle, which represents Love.
Week3- The Shepherd’s Candle, which represents Joy.
Week 4- The Angel’s Candle, which represents Peace.
(and no fighting over who gets to light the candles! St. Nikolaus is watching!)
There are many different styles of Advent Wreath available. With fresh greenery, hand carved from wood, or even a plastic one that can be used over and over. You can make your own, or even let the kids make one. It’s all a matter of personal taste.
November 27th is the First Sunday in Advent for 2016
You can Buy Beautiful Advent Wreaths with Greenery on Amazon
In Germany, Advent Candles are generally RED… often in the US you will find them in Purple. It depends on the church. Candles in Red or Purple available below.
Traditional Pine Cone Advent WreathGolden Pine Cone And Purple Ribboned Christmas Advent WreathPurple Ribbon Advent Wreath12 inch Advent Wreath with 100 Tips and Green Candle CupsIvory Poinsettia Christmas Advent Wreath (no candles)Gold Glitter Pine Cone with Ribbon Advent Candle Holder Wreath Seasonal Decoration
Wooden Advent Wreaths
These fantastic Advent wreaths were carved in the Erzgebirge in Germany. They can be used over and over, and become family heirlooms.
Zeidler Advent Candleholder Dark Natural Wood 4ADVWorld of Light Candle holder advent four sitting angels with wood chip tree – 22x19cm / 8.7×7.5inch – Albin PreisslerAdvent candle holder red for tea lights candle holder 40cm Seiffen Ore Mountains NEWAdvent candlestick snow man candlestick candlestick manual work Erzgebirge NEW 201/111Advent candlestick 25 cm Candle holder Seiffen Ore Mountains NEWAdvent candle holder candle holder Christmas candle holder38cm Ore Mountains NEW
Vintage Ceramic Advent Wreaths
These Vintage Ceramic Advent Candle holders are quite lovely. You can fill the center with candies, ornaments, cookies or pine cones… or just leave it empty..
Advent Wreath Candle Holders….
beautiful as they are, or you can fill in your own Greenery and Candles
Advent Wreath Candle Holders
Another way to make an Advent Wreath is to add special candle holders to a wreath. A few ribbons or other bits of greenery, and done!
I did this last year with a live wreath I picked up from Trader Joes. I inserted the candle holders, added a nice ribbon, and it was perfect for the patio table.
Don’t forget the Advent Candles
While Red is more traditional in Germany, in the US we see more purples to match the liturgical garments.
Make Your OWN Advent Wreath
These Kindle books that you can download today are loaded with great ideas for making your own special Advent Wreath.
Einfache Blumendekorationen für Weihnachten: Selbstgebastelte Blumenarrangements für Ihr Zuhause (German Edition)Das Weihnachtsnähbuch: Geschenke & Deko für Advent und Weihnachten (German Edition)Adventskränze selbst gemacht: Kreative Bastel- und Dekorationsideen für Adventszeit und Weihnachten (Weihnachtlich dekorieren und basteln) (German Edition)
Pictures Advent Wreaths
Of course you don’t have to have a traditional German Advent Wreath… all you really need are four candles and some imagination.
For more tips and DIY projects take a look at these pages-
DIY Advent Wreaths- http://www.lecker.de/weihnachten/weihnachtsdeko/bildergalerie-1999808-weihnachtsdeko/Adventskranz-basteln-stimmungsvolle-Ideen-zum-Selbermachen.html
DIY Advent Wreath- http://ao.com/life/home/crafts/diy-advent-candle-tins/
Advent Wreaths… Signal the Coming of Christmas
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