About two weeks ago I emailed one of my members and asked if he would be interested in making a stand for an Advent wreath for church. I realized that it was a little late, but I thought I would ask anyway. This morning before 8:00, Kenny dropped off this gorgeous stand. I picked up the wreath at Hobby Lobby yesterday. The candles were ordered from Almy. I think that this piece is a fine addition to our chancel appointments, and that it will serve us well for many years.
Here is an excerpt from a post by Pastor Johnold Strey on the history of the Advent wreath:
I’ve heard from more than one Lutheran source that Martin Luther is assumed to be the “father” or “inventor” of the Advent wreath. I suppose that makes for a nice story, especially if you’re a Lutheran, but unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be true. The best theory about the Advent wreath’s origins that I’ve heard came from one of my liturgy classes at Santa Clara University. The professor suggested that Advent wreaths originated in the colder climates of Northern Europe. Men would remove the wheels of horse-drawn carriages just before winter set in, when snow and muddy conditions would make such travel difficult. The wheels were brought inside, and possibly placed up in the rafters of houses. Eventually the muddy wheels were decorated with evergreen boughs, then candles, and voila — the origins of the Advent wreath at the time of the year just before Christmas.
In time, the use of the Advent wreath became wide spread and moved from the home into the church. The general symbolism of the Advent wreath lies in the growing light of the wreath: each Sunday another candle from the wreath is lighted as we approach the birthday of Jesus, the Light of the world. Advent wreaths have four candles around the circle, one for each Sunday of the Advent season. Modern Advent wreaths frequently include a fifth candle, the white “Christ candle” in the center of the wreath, which is first lighted at worship on Christmas Eve.