I was raised in the Catholic faith. My parents followed the teachings of the faith quite closely. We would abstain from meat on Fridays, go to church on Sundays, put our envelopes in the collection basket every Sunday and we observed the Holy Days. My mother had a few religious artifacts around the house, but not to the point that it was oppressive. Each year she created an Advent wreath on a stand next to the television. She placed it there to help us keep in mind the true reason for Christmas. This was a great place for the Advent wreath because of the number of television specials that were on for the holidays as well as the advertisements for Christmas gifts. The simple wreath helped us to keep all the holiday hype in prospective.
Mom had a wire base for the Advent wreath. This consisted of a metal circle with four glass votive holders. She would secure evergreen boughs to the wire base and place votive candles in the holders. The church seemed to change the color of the candles from time to time. Usually mom had three white candles and one pink candle. The pink candle was lit the third week of Advent to symbolize that the time for the Savior was approaching.
Before dinner each evening during Advent the candles were lit and we said a special prayer together. Mom would blowout the candles before going to bed. The candles were lit one for each week, so this meant that the candles for the first and second weeks were replaced several times during the course of Advent. When my husband and I were first married I looked for an Advent wreath that was like my mother’s. There were wreathes that you could purchase in the stores; however most of them had artificial greens.
My husband was also raised Catholic, however his family did not have an Advent wreath in their home. He had not heard of people having their own wreathes he thought they were only lit in church. He agreed that it would neat to have one in the house and to say an extra prayer each evening during this time. He suggested making our own wreath out of evergreen boughs and placing votive candles in holders inside the ring. This worked fine. We placed our Advent wreath as a center piece on our dining room table. We lit the appropriate candle each evening and said a prayer. I am glad that we are continuing a tradition from my childhood.
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