Joy to the World ~ Let Earth Receive Her King!
In the hurry and flurry of modern Christmas, packed with events, children’s performances, church and office parties and the like, we get buried in the festivities and activities too easily. In the whirlwind of activity, tradition and choosing gifts, it is easy to miss out on the Savior. Celebrating Advent is a way to knit hearts together in Christ. It is a time to slow down, enjoy a few moments of solitude as a family and focus on the Reason for the Season.
We began celebrating Advent a few years ago, and our lives have never been the same. With a little planning in November, your family can join us in celebrating Advent this year.
What Is Advent?
Advent means the coming, or arrival and comes from the Latin word Adventus, meaning to come. Advent is a celebration of the first coming of Christ, long foretold in scripture, of His virgin birth in a stable in Bethlehem. Advent also looks longingly forward to His glorious 2nd coming as Christ the King, also foretold in scripture, which we wait in joyful anticipation for still. Advent is a time of quiet preparation, a time of prayer, a time of thanksgiving for all the Lord is, and a time of reflection on His blessed birth.
Many families new to Advent can think it sounds wonderful, but don’t quite understand how to pull together their own personal Advent celebration. It is really quite easy, if you use the resources at our website www.theprudentwife.com (search for Advent since we are redesigning the site!)
You can probably pull most of the things you need out of your own Christmas items, table accessories, candles, etc. If this is your first Advent, please don’t worry about making it perfect and getting caught up in “doing it right.” It is not for humans to be perfect, but to celebrate the One who is perfect, and the author and finisher of our faith! Advent is all about celebrating Jesus!
Creating an Advent Celebration
The Celebration of Advent begins Sunday, December 1, 2013. You can easily pull together your own Advent celebration this year.
• December 1 - First Sunday of Advent
• December 8 - Second Sunday of Advent
• December 15 - Third Sunday of Advent
• December 22 - Fourth Sunday of Advent
One of the joys of celebrating advent is creating your own Advent Wreath, and lighting the special Advent candles. It is the ideal family project that can easily be changed from year to year. The wreath can have a modern emphasis, be homemade, made out of children’s handprints joined in a circle, be rustic and primitive or even elegant and formal. Traditionally, the Advent wreath was made of evergreens symbolizing the everlasting life of Christ. Holly berries sprinkled in with the evergreens symbolize the blood of Jesus, shed for the remission of sins. Wreaths are made into a circle, showing us the eternal nature of the Lord, He is eternity.
Advent wreaths can be easily made from materials readily available. If you have evergreens in your yard, or neighbors’ yard, ask if you can cut off a few. Fashion the evergreens into a circle, using wire or another wreath to hold them together. You can use any sort of greenery. At the Tipton-Haynes house today we saw magnolia leaves entwined with evergreens, holly, and various shrubs and bushes that are still pretty and green. This would make a beautiful, natural wreath for free!
Candles of Advent
Christ IS the light of the world. Four candles are placed in the Advent wreath, 3 purple and one pink. The purple candle symbolizes royalty and repentance. The pink candle is the joy of the Savior that the angels sang so eloquently of at His birth. Your devotional will have much more on the symbolism than can be written here!
The 1st Sunday Symbolizes HOPE with the Prophet's Candle- Jesus is coming
The 2nd Sunday Symbolizes FAITH with the Bethlehem candle- Mary & Joseph's journey to Bethlehem
The 3rd Sunday Symbolizes JOY with the Shepherd's Candle- Joy at the coming birth of Jesus
The 4th Sunday Symbolizes PEACE with the Angel's Candle- The Message of the Angels: "Peace on Earth, God Will Toward Men"
Advent Ideas and Books to Pull the Celebration Together
It is impossible to get all of the Advent information into one little column, so I have to send you to my website to see a bevy of different Advent wreaths and ideas. We also list some exciting devotional books that your family want to devour, the kids will look forward to the Advent reading! Go to www.theprudentwife.com and search for Advent! You will find everything you need to create an Advent Celebration in 2013! Ideas abound and this section is continuously being expanded!
You can create a new Advent tradition in 2013!
Advent Poem ~ Christina Rossetti