Sunday, December 7, 2014

2nd Sunday of Advent: Advent Wreath

Photo: Clemens Pfieffer
Advent wreaths have their origins in the folk traditions of northern Europe, where in the deep of winter people lit candles on wheel-shaped bundles of evergreen. Both the evergreen and the circular shape symbolized ongoing life.  The four candles symbolizing Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love are lit on the four Sundays of Advent.  In the Catholic tradition the candles are most often violet and rose while in Protestant churches it is common to use four red candles.  In some traditions the candles represent the Patriarchs, the Prophets,  John the Baptist, and Mary.  In the latter tradition the second candle is often referred to as the Bethlehem candle:

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