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What is an Advent Wreath?

How is it connected to Christmas?

Historically, the origins of the wreath date back to ancient Romans. They decorated their homes with greenery for the feast of the sun god on December 25. It was a celebration of the return of the sun to the northern hemisphere. The Roman emperor Aurelian fixed December 25th for the winter solstice holiday in the year AD 274.

Christians, when choosing the birthday of Jesus, chose December 25 so that they would not stand out in their society. We must remember that they were being persecuted, and Christianity was an underground religion. Christians took the good from other religions and Christianized it. The feast of the sun god became the feast of the Son of God and His birthday. Romans celebrated the return of the sun. Christians celebrated Christ who is the light of the world and who will return again.

The Romans used a wreath as a sign of victory in sporting events. For Christians the circle of the wreath reminds us that God is eternal, the Alpha and the Omega without beginning or end.

Greenery reminded the Romans of vegetation in spring time. Greenery for Christians became the symbol of their hope in eternity.

The candles symbolize the light of God entering the world through the birth of Jesus. Their light  reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world, and also that we are called to be the light of the world as we reflect the light of God‘s love and grace to others.

You may have a theme for your family during Advent that brings out different truths about God‘s amazing love and grace.  Discuss them this year within your family and share them with friends. 

Thanks for asking a very timely question. I’ll be sharing more answers in the future. Anyone with a question about our faith, please call me at 573-378-9220. 

Have a great Advent,
Deacon Paul