Advent is the season of anticipation within the church year. This anticipation is both for the coming of the baby Jesus and the return of the risen Christ among us.
The tradition of lighting the Advent candles assigns a reading on each of the four Sundays of Advent according to the following concepts.
- Hope (or promise)
- Preparation (waiting or prophecy)
- Joy (peace)
- Love (adoration)
Set up your own Advent wreath with five candles – four around the edge and one in the center. Place beautiful greens around the circle. Each week light the candle for that week. If you have children or grandchildren, invite them to help in the candle lighting. (Electric candles can work beautifully.) Reflect ahead of time on the meaning of the candle for each week. Write a short prayer to use as you light each candle. Invite everyone in your circle to say it with you.
On Christmas Eve, light all five candles. Sing a Carol of celebration. Close with a prayer of gratitude for the gift of the life of Christ among us and within us.
~by Carol Scott-Kassner