Advent Preparation The Advent Wreath and Colors

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1 Advent Preparation The Advent Wreath and Colors Advent is derived from the Latin word for coming. It is a period of time before Christmas during which we wait and prepare for the coming of Jesus, first in his birth and also when he comes again to judge the quick and the dead. Advent directs our attention to both comings of Christ. The season in the Church year traditionally begins four Sundays before Christmas and extends through Christmas Eve. It is a time to look forward to Christmas Day when we remember Christ s birth on earth. This booklet is an invitation to the people of Redeemer to make Christmas more than a time of giving and receiving material gifts. You are invited to use this guide for your Family Worship at home. Set up a wreath* in a prominent location in your home, then on each of the four Sundays of Advent and on Christmas Eve gather together as a family with these pages, read about that week s candle, light it and read the scripture that is provided. Then join together to sing the accompanying songs. *Please note- if you do not have an Advent wreath, please see the back of this booklet on how to make one. Advent Wreath The use of the Advent wreath during Advent is a German custom. The circular wreath represents eternity, which has no beginning and no end. The eternal, unchanging love of God is made evident to us through His Son. The evergreens represent life and hope in Christ. The four outer candles represent the period of time from the creation of the world to the coming of our Savior. Red holly berries, looking like large, red drops of blood, symbolize the blood shed by Christ to redeem His chosen ones. Colors In the Western church, purple is the historic liturgical color for three of the four Sundays of Advent. Once the color associated with royalty, the color purple symbolizes Christ as the Prince of Peace. Rose is the color of the Third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday from the Latin word rejoice. Gaudete Sunday anticipates the joy of the Christmas celebration, so its color is a mixture of Advent purple and Christmas white. The center candle is white because it is lit on Christmas Eve and it is the traditional color for Christmas in the church.

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3 First Sunday in Advent The Prophecy Candle The Prophecy Candle symbolizes the many Old Testament prophecies about the promised Messiah. These Old Testament prophecies gave light and hope to a world lost in darkness of sin and unbelief. Let hope enter our hearts as we wait for the Messiah, Jesus Christ, to come again. Scripture Readings: Sunday (Nov 30): Isaiah 60:1-3 and John 1:1-15 Monday: Genesis 1:1-4 and Corinthians 4:6 Tuesday: Psalm 119:105 and John 8:12 Wednesday: Psalm 27:1 and Luke 2:25-32 Thursday: Isaiah 2:4-5 and Matthew 5:14-16 Friday: Isaiah 9:2 and John 9:1-5 Saturday: Micah 7:8 and John 12:35-36 Light the first candle. This was God s birth announcement for Jesus. Most announcements about babies are sent after the baby is born. This announcement about Jesus was sent to the world 750 years before the birth of Christ. What do the different names for Christ in Isaiah mean? Another beautiful name for Jesus was Emmanuel which means God with us. For use each day: Recite Apostles Creed out loud (see info before songs at the end of the book) Read Scripture of the day. Sing together O Come, All Ye Faithful #208 Pray together as a family.

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5 Second Sunday in Advent The Bethlehem Candle The Bethlehem Candle represents the preparation made for the coming of the Savior. It signifies the Savior coming to earth as a child in the little town of Bethlehem. As we gaze on this candle, may its glow warm us and remind us of the love of Christ, now and forever. May we reflect upon God s greatest gift of love, His Son. Scripture Readings: Sunday (Dec 7): Micah 5:2 and Luke 2:1-4 Monday: Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:18-21 Tuesday: Isaiah 63:8-9 and John 7:42 Wednesday: Jeremiah 33:14-16 and Luke 1:26-31 Thursday: Isaiah 52:8-10 and Luke 1:32-35 Friday: Isaiah 11:1-2 and Luke 1:39-45 Saturday: Isaiah 62:11-12 and Luke 1:46-55 Light the first two candles. Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, the prophet Micah gave the message from God that Jesus would be born in the little town of Bethlehem. For use each day: Recite Apostles Creed out loud (see info before songs at the end of the book) Read Scripture of the day. Sing together Joy to the World! The Lord Is Come #195 Pray together as a family, that God would continue to prepare our hearts and the hearts of others to receive Christ.

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7 Third Sunday in Advent The Angels Candle The Angels Candle represents the angels and the message: Good News of Great Joy to All People! Before Jesus was born, the angel had said to Mary, with God nothing shall be impossible. And now God s messenger (angel) said to the shepherds and to the people through the ages, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news. Jesus in Born! This candle also represents Jesus second coming in all His glory to judge to world and take all Christians to heaven to live with Him eternally. Let us pull away from the busy pace of the season to focus on the peace Christ brought to the world. Scripture Readings: Sunday (Dec 14): Luke 2:13-15 Monday: Luke 3:1-6 Tuesday: Romans 15:4-6 Wednesday: Titus 2:11-14 Thursday: Galatians 4:4-5 Friday: John 1:19-23 Saturday: Philippians 4:4-7 Light the three candles. Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, the prophet Micah gave the message from God that Jesus would be born in the little town of Bethlehem. For use each day: Recite Apostles Creed out loud (see info before songs at the end of the book) Read Scripture of the day. Sing together Hark! the Herald Angels Sing #203 Pray together expressing thanks for Jesus coming.

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9 Forth Sunday in Advent The Shepherds Candle The Shepherds Candle represents the joy of the shepherds and signifies the coming of the Savior into our hearts by faith. Jesus birth brought joy to the shepherds in the field that night. The shepherds were common people like us. They were the first missionaries because they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. Let the light of joy shine forth from us to all those in need of God s message of truth and peace. Scripture Readings: Sunday (Dec. 21): Deuteronomy 18:15-19 and Matthew 1:18-25 Monday: Isaiah 52:7-10 and John 4:7-16 Christmas Eve: See next page Christmas Day: Isaiah 40:9-11 and Titus 2:11-14 Light four candles. After the shepherds had found Mary and the baby Jesus, the shepherds spread the word concerning what had been told them about the child. All who heard it were so amazed. Would you have believed their story? For use each day: Recite Apostle s Creed out loud (see info before songs at the end of the book) Read Scripture of the day. Sing together O Come, O Come, Emmanuel #194 Pray together as a family, expressing gratitude for the Good Shepherd.

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11 Christmas Eve The Christ Candle The Christ Candle on Christmas Eve. This candle reminds us of the purity of Christ. It is placed in the middle of the wreath to signify that Christ is the heart and center of everything: scripture, faith, life, Christmas. Scripture Readings: John 8:12 Jesus is the light of the world. John 1:1-14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Think of the description in Genesis 1:2 the earth was formless and empty darkness was over the surface of the deep BUT the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Then God created light. Now, in the coming of Jesus, was the one who said I am the Light of the world. This light continues to shine in our darkness. Joy to the world! Give glory to God! Light all four candles and the Christ Candle. Sing together Angels, from the Realms of Glory #218 Pray together as a family.

12 How to Make an Advent Wreath Supplies needed: One large white candle Three purple dripless 10 taper candles One rose (pink) dripless 10 taper candle Florist wire Greens (artificial floral or holly and fresh pine clippings) Scissors 8-10 ring (wood, Styrofoam or floral foam) Glue gun 1) If you are using a wooden base, drill holes about one inch in from edge of circle at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o clock. These holes should be slightly narrower than the width of the candles. If you use the Styrofoam you can simply force the candles into the ring after decorating. 2) If you are using a wooden ring, hot glue the greens around the base. If you are using the other kinds of rings, group a handful of greens and tie down with florist wire. Repeat around the ring in the same direction, overlapping the wire from the previous bunch each time you apply greens. 3) As you get to the end of the wreath, you may need to pull up your first bunch and tuck the final bunch under it for a seamless look. 4) Place the wreath flat on the table where you d like it displayed. Force the four taper candles into the center of the base at each corner. Place the white candle in the middle. 5) The Advent wreath is now ready to use. You might add other elements to the wreath for decoration angle ornaments, a popcorn chain, bells, or even gift tags on each candle with the candle s name.

13 Extra Readings to Read Weekly Over the Advent Season The Apostles Creed I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven And is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

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