Pioneer Advent Wreath
While thinking about the Pioneer days of old and how our resourceful ancestors must have created their Advent wreaths. Here’s the thing about Advent wreaths…. they can be as elaborate or as simple as you need them to be for your family’s needs. Keeping in mind the whole “pioneer” theme, the Advent wreath display will be from all natural materials and using items we already have on hand.
The Wreath or Base
- Take a walk with the family. The goal is to collect pine cones, evergreen pieces, colorful leaves, rocks, acorns, and just about anything that catches your eyes to put in your wreath.
- Use your existing Advent wreath holder and a circular platter, plate, or bowl, create your Advent wreath by placing the collected items around the base and covering it.
- If you do not own an Advent wreath holder, simply fill a large bowl with sand or dirt and arrange your collected nature items on top of the soil.
There are 4-5 candles involved in the Advent Wreath. Depending upon your tradition or denomination, you may have 3-4 purple candles, 1 pink candle, and one white candle. See the information in the “What does the Advent Wreath represent” section for further details.
- Use existing Advent candles from last year.
- Make Beeswax candles. You can purchase beeswax sheets from a craft store or from www.amazon.com. Amazon sells an advent beeswax kit for $12.50 + shipping.
Putting It Together
Here are some examples for what your Advent Wreath could look like:
Here’s an instructional video about making beeswax candles. It looks pretty easy. I got our Amazon Advent Kit in the mail last week. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!!
What Does the Advent Wreath Represent?
The most common symbol of the Advent season is the Advent Wreath. It can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be, but it will have 4 candles around the perimeter and if you choose, one in the center. The four candles represent the four Sundays or weeks of Advent and the center one is known as the Christ candle.
On the first Sunday, the first candle is lit and each Sunday following you will light the previous Sunday’s candle(s) along with the current Sunday’s. The Christ candle is lit on Christmas Eve. The colors and the names of the candles may differ by Christian denominations.
Regarding the colors I have found 4 variations:
- Four white candles and one red as the Christ candle
- Four red and a white Christ candle
- Four purple and a white Christ candle (these are the colors I use)
- Three purple, a pink (for the 3rd Sunday), and a white Christ candle
The candle names also vary but the one I have found in the majority is :
- First Sunday: The prophecy candle, with a theme of planning
- Second Sunday: The Bethlehem candle, with a theme of preparation
- Third Sunday: The Shepherd’s candle with a theme of sharing
- Fourth Sunday: The Angles’ candle with the theme of joy.
Think of the Sundays in these terms: God planned for Christmas, then the prophets announced his plan, He made preparations centered in Bethlehem, the shepherds shared what they had seen and heard, and the angels announce, “Joy!” To simplify: We plan for Christmas, prepare for it, share it, and rejoice in it!
Our wreath becomes the centerpiece for our table. It becomes a nightly tradition to openly discuss Advent and the celebration of Christ’s birth. We have scripture readings and a small devotion each night.
Come back tomorrow for the activities we will be doing for the first week of the Pioneer Advent!! Remember the first Sunday is November 28, 2010. Enjoy your Tuesday and God Bless..