since i’ve already bumped St Nicolas one day, i might as well talk about Advent wreaths! all of Advent is about waiting and preparing and the days fall at the darkest time of year. candles and the Advent season just seem to go together.
Advent wreaths are a tangible way to acknowledge the coming light. usually there are places for four candles, one for each week of Advent. as you move through time, the wreath fills with candles and your home fills with light. you might consider lighting the week’s candle and then reading aloud together from that week’s lectionary or simply talking together about what was read at church.
our thrift-store wreath is carved with scenes and symbols of our faith: a shepherd’s crook, the star, Bethlehem, bread and wine. we usually just talk about the wreath itself and whatever image has captured someone’s attention. our wreath usually sits in the middle of the dining table, so we see and use it all through the day. i often am the first to wake and i’ll light the candles to greet the rest of the family as they wake.
but please don’t think that because you don’t have a wreath, you need to buy one. just four candles gathered together will do the same work. (Leila at Like Mother, Like Daughter has pictures of a simple gathering of votive candles.) really just one candle simply lit in the midst of your busy day–first thing in the morning, at dinner, just before bed–can point you and your family toward the light.