The Advent wreath, or Advent crown, is a Christian tradition that symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas. Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen's Janine Washle explains that Advent wreaths originated in Germany. It is a significant part of Christmas as it helps to keep one's mind on the true focus of the holiday. Advent by definition is a time of preparation for the celebration of Christ's birth. The wreath has 3 red candles and one rose or white candle.
Each Sunday of December a candle is lit signifying Christ's coming. Homemade advent wreaths are easy to create and will provide a lovely focal point during Christmas. Begin by purchasing a Styrofoam wreath form or create a wreath shape from florist's foam.
The using either artificial pine greenery or real, poke holes in the wreath at an angle. Stick a bit of greenery in each hole working around the wreath. It is important to poke the hole at an angle so the wreath maintains it's wreath-like shape. If the hole is poked vertically, the pine sprigs will stand straight up and it will simply look like a circle of pine bits.
Once the entire form is covered, make depressions equally apart for the candles using the end of wooden cooking spoon or some other object approximately the diameter of the candle base. You can add pinecones, even a dusting of faux snow to complete your homemade advent wreath.
On the first Sunday of advent (first Sunday in December), the wreath must be blessed. The head of the family leads the family in the blessing ritual:
1. Make the Sign of the Cross.
2. Pray the responsory or read Isaiah 9: 1-2, 5-6
3. Pray the prayer of blessing:
O God, by whose word all things are sanctified, pour forth thy blessing upon this wreath, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and may receive from Thee abundant graces. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
4. Sprinkle the wreath with Holy Water.
5. End with the Sign of the Cross.
Once advent ends on Christmas Eve, there is no reason to put up the advent wreath. Take out the 4 candles and stick a large pillar candle in the center. It helps us remember the reason for the season doesn't end on Christmas Eve. In fact, many people burn it through Epiphany.
To learn more about the history of advent, advent wreaths, and readings for the candle lightings, go to www.catholicism.about.com .
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CloverFields Farm & Kitchen
Hardin Springs Area
Big Clifty, KY 42712
Janine Washle and her family live at the Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen in Big Clifty, Kentucky in Hardin County. CloverFields Farm & Kitchen, part of a century old farmstead, is our home and business. The McGuffin house, the original farmhouse, is a registered state landmark. CloverFields Farm has a prosperous farming history. They are continuing this rural story in their own unique way by the addition of CloverFields Kitchen a place to explore the past through food and merge it with our modern lifestyles.