Introduction

This resource offers a few ways that we might mark this advent season together as a church family. 

The season of advent draws our attention to, and builds our anticipation for, our Saviour’s coming at Christmas – it’s root is the Latin ‘adventus’, meaning waiting or the arrival. 

Through Advent, we are invited to remember the joy experienced at the first coming of Christ, while also looking toward his return with hope. We invite you to join us in the practice of lighting the Advent candles each week as we anticipate the birth of Jesus. 

Much of this has been adapted from ‘A Defiant Christmas’ by Church of the City New York – big thanks!

 

Weekly Resources More Advent Resources ADVENT WREATH GUIDE christmas events

 


Weekly Advent Resources

Each week, use these pages to pause, recognise the presence of God, and remind yourself of the wonder of that first Christmas

Why not share your reflections with others in your Missional Community?

Candle of Hope

Candle of Hope

28th November

Candle of Peace

Candle of Peace

5th December

Candle of Joy

Candle of Joy

12th December

Candle of Love

Candle of Love

19th December

Christ Candle

Christ Candle

24th or 25th December


 

More ways to celebrate Advent

Advent Resources - Scottish Bible Society

Advent Resources - Scottish Bible Society

- All-age adventure exploring the Christmas Story
- Advent Reader
"Light & Life" Photo Magazine

Christmas Gatherings

Christmas Gatherings

What's going on at Adelaide Place this Christmas?

Tearfund Advent Daily Readings

Tearfund Advent Daily Readings

Sign up to Advent daily devotional emails Be encouraged, through scripture and much more, in the run-up to Christmas.


 

Why an Advent wreath?

The Light

Isaiah 9 contains one of the Messianic prophecies given in the Old Testament about the coming of Christ, and it compares his arrival to a great light coming on the earth:

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned”
Isaiah 9:2

The continuous lighting of candles on the wreath throughout Advent signifies the increase of light pouring into the world as Christ’s arrival draws near. Lighting the candles one by one over the four weeks symbolizes the posture of anticipation we adopt in this season. The flame of each candle pushes back the darkness, and by Christmas Day, the fully illuminated wreath radiates a brightness to serve as a reminder that the Light of the World came to defeat darkness forever and dwell with his people.

The Candles 

Four candles sit around the ring of the wreath, each one pointing us to a different aspect of Advent. 

The first candle, sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle,” symbolizes the hope for a saviour we see in the prophets of Israel, and begins the season with a spirit of anticipation for the coming Christ. 

The second candle symbolizes the peace God promises to all mankind through the Messiah. 

The third candle symbolizes the joy of the good news given to the shepherds in the fields by the heavenly hosts at Jesus’s birth. 

The fourth and final candle in the circle of the wreath symbolizes love, and reminds us that the ultimate act of love was God sending his one and only Son into the world to eventually be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. 

The centre candle is traditionally white and called the Christ Candle, lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to symbolize the arrival of Christ and his light in the world. 

The Circle

The traditional Advent wreath is arranged in a circle, with no beginning or end, to symbolize that God’s goodwill toward man, brought about by the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, will never cease. Christmas is the time of year when we get to celebrate the miracle of the Word of God becoming flesh through the birth of Christ. However, the circle of the wreath reminds us that this miracle came to pass because of God’s endless love and mercy for us. 

The Evergreens

The Advent wreath is typically made up of evergreen branches. The colour green alone symbolizes the hope of renewal and potential for new life, but the use of evergreens serves as an even sweeter reminder to us of the promise of eternal life we have access to through Jesus Christ the Messiah. 

Building Anticipation

Advent gives us an opportunity to look back on the first coming of Christ, and also look forward with hope to the time when King Jesus will come back to rule and reign over his kingdom forever. 

When the Son of Man first came to earth, Israel had been abused by their kings, enslaved by their enemies, and led astray by apathetic religious leaders for generations. They were longing for their promised Messiah King to rise up and lead them as God’s chosen people. 

During Advent, we acknowledge that we are just like Israel—heavy with anticipation, and waiting for our promised King to come. However, we can also give thanks, trusting that because Jesus came before, he will come again. Advent reminds us to hope, so that as anticipation builds, our hearts can shake off the heaviness, and take on a posture of joyful expectancy for Christ’s glorious return. Lighting the candles one by one reminds us that though we are waiting, we are waiting with a hope that will one day light the whole world.

 

Inviting the neighbours

The Advent wreath symbolizes the light of Jesus coming into the world, but it is our call as believers to go and share that light with the people around us. After the shepherds were told by the heavenly hosts that the Saviour had come and they saw the baby for themselves, they ran to share the good news with anyone that would listen. Let’s be like the shepherds this Christmas, proclaiming the good news to all who will listen. 

We encourage you to embrace a spirit of hospitality, and invite friends and neighbours into some of your holiday activities. Could you could share this advent wreath tradition and invite them to create one too? Perhaps you could invite some neighbours round for mulled wine & mince pies, or invite them to our Carols Gathering on Sunday 5th December, or our Family Carols on Sunday 19th December.

Opening up these meaningful moments to people who normally would not take part in celebrating the true meaning of Christmas creates an opportunity for deeper connections and conversations about the hope, peace, love, and joy of Jesus.

 

How to Build a Wreath

There are so many different sizes and styles of Advent wreath, you’re sure to be able to find one that works for you! Here are just a few tutorials, but you’ll find lots more by searching ‘advent wreath’. 

 

A simple DIY wreath Pipe cleaner wreath Toilet roll wreath

Egg cup wreath Another simple wreath