Having an Advent Wreath in Church is not traditional for us, but it helps to think about what it symbolises so each Sunday in Advent two children light another of the candles. Last year one of them almost set the Dean's surplice alight but luckily he can move fast! (all those years of playing rugby I should think!)
The First Candle symbolises Hope, the Hope we have in Christ as well as the Hope the Prophets had in their prophecies of the Messiah.
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Isaiah Ch 60 v 1-3
Just as a footnote, this is our traditional way of counting off the days in Advent.
Much as we enjoy Advent Calendars, gift boxes and wreaths, this is the way we do it, usually lighting the candle at supper time when we are all sitting at the table. When the candle burns down to the pin it begins to tilt and it is blown out for another day. To me nothing beats the excitement of watching the candle burn down to the pin!
When you sit watching a candle you can see why the Church used to pagan symbolism of a Lamp for the birth of Jesus, Light of the World. You can also see why so many faiths have Celebrations of Light, Diwali I know from East Africa, but Light in all its symbolism is important to everyone.
I wish the Hope of Advent to you all this week.
In Timeless Treasures I am putting up a Jesse Tree. Please visit?