The Advent Wreath is at the same time a Christmas ornament that embellishes your home and an object of great sacred value for believers. As a matter of fact, the Advent Wreath accompanies the devotees for four weeks until Christmas. It is made of many strong sybolic elements: the green branches and berries recall winter season; the wreath is a symbol for unity, communion and eternity and recalls the sun and the Earth, while the four candles are a symbol for the saving light offered to all men on Christmas.
A candle is lit for every Advent Sunday, and each one of the four has a precise meaning.
The first one is the “Prophet’s candle”: it recalls the prophecies about the coming of the Messiah.
The second one is the “Bethlehem’s candle”, in memory of the place where Jesus was brought to life.
The third one is the “Shepherds’ candle”, the humbles among the humbles, the first ones to see and worship the Messiah.
The fourth one is the “Angles’ candle”, who anounced the miracolous birth of Our Lord to the whole world.
The four candles also represent the progressive victory of Light against Darkness, which culminates with Jesus’ birth. Under that point of view, the candles symbolize Hope, Peace, Joy and Love, the message brought by the Baby to the world.
The Advent Wreath was created in the middle of the XIX century from an idea of the Protestant Shepherd Johann Hinrich Wichern, who wanted to brighten the nights of the orphan kids in Berlin with this ornament. At the beginning it was taking hold mainly in oratorios, orphanages and schools, but it soon spread widely also in private houses. Still today, giving an Advent Wreath is a gesture of affection and devotion.
Advent Wreaths are beautiful, decorated with green branches as well as with berries, ribbons, golden and silver Christmas decorations. They can be used as elegant centerpieces for Holidays as well as liturgical objects, and bring light, warmth and beauty to the whole house.