The meaning of the candles and the wreath as a meditation for Christmas and beyond.
Most people recognize an Advent Wreath when they see them. They can be made out of many different types of materials. The most common are evergreens, but there are many other beautiful options. The wreath (round just by it's name) usually has 4 candle holders spaced evenly around the wreath. These four candles are usually in purple and pink( 3 purple and one pink), for religious celebrations of Advent. Some have a central larger candle in White. Other Advents wreaths can have red or white candles or whatever color you happen to like.
What's the significance of the colors in a Religious Advent Wreath?
Each candle has it's own meaning.
- The 1st Sunday of Advent is for Hope (purple)
- The 2nd Sunday is for Peace (purple)
- The 3rd Sunday is for Joy (pink)(it's pink because the light of the two other candles illuminates this week a little bit more and joy is bright)
- The 4th Sunday is for Love (purple)
- Christmas Day the center candle is lit, if you have an Advent wreath with 5 candles. This central candle (usually in white) represents the Christ, the Saviour whose birthday we celebrate at this time.
If you want to increase the religious aspect of Advent, you can use Bible verses as a meditation for each of the four weeks, or sing some Christmas carols that speak more to the coming of the Saviour rather than Santa Claus. There are also some lovely Advent prayers to be found on You Tube and I have selected one for you with music. The sound is soothing and a reminder of what Christmas is all about! Check it out right here, and bookmark it if you like so that you have it for all 4 weeks.
Quiet Meditative Time
Christmas with all it's hustle and bustle can sometimes overwhelm children, parents and other members of the family. Do you ever wonder why you seem to see so many children having emotional meltdowns at this time of year. I personally think it has a lot to do with sensory overload and children not having the coping mechanisms in place to deal with it all.
You might find yourself in that position of having to back away from all the noise, lights, music and people. Taking some quality quiet time for yourself during this hectic time, is not only a great idea, but a necessity for some. Everyone is different and will relate to the stimulus differently too. One thing I do know from my own experience is that taking the time to light one candle for every weekend before Christmas is necessary for my well being. It's a quiet meditative time for me and a way to refresh and renew my sagging spirit.
If you want to know more about sensory overload or aren't sure if that's what has you in it's grips, there is a great article here on Healthline. It's worth the time it takes to read it. Not only will it help you to understand this malady, but it will also give you some coping mechanisms. If you are looking for a more "spiritual way" to cope then I would recommend this article on Seasonal Depression and coping.
When you are faced with this "overload" and you know which methods of coping work for you, then it's time to put it into practice. This is where my Advent Wreath plays a central role. For me, coping with the seasonal overload means finding some quiet time, and meditating(some might call it praying). Christmas for me has always been a "spiritual time" and while I love some of the more secular things about Christmas, I still try to keep it as a spiritual time in my home. I have to do this for my own peace of mind and you might just find some peace if you try this too!
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