The advent wreath I had when I was little was the construction paper one I made in Sr. Jane’s 3rd grade class. Like most of my Catholic education, I took that little wreath for granted and used it more to count down the slowest weeks of my life – those leading up to Christmas – than as a prayer tool.
There are so many wonderful reasons to have an Advent wreath. Here we’re going to talk about the top seven:
- Different form of Prayer
Prayer is an exercise. And like exercise, it works best if you do many forms – not just bench presses and squats. Having (and using!) an Advent wreath gives you an opportunity to pray in a different way than what you do on a day-to-day basis.
You’re only job in life is to get to heaven. If you read through the 4 weekly prayers below, you can see they are asking God to help us change in ways that make us more holy and reject sin.
- Deepen your Relationship with God
That’s the whole point of prayer, right?
Advent wreaths are a sacramental, meaning we use them to sanctify ourselves.
- Establish a Family Tradition
Family traditions are a way for families to express their love for each other! Like that favorite serving bowl your grandmother used, a family Advent Wreath absorbs more and more meaning every year it is used.
- Teach your Children Well
The correct reason for the season is the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Giving 30 seconds to Advent prayer every night before supper (or dinner…) brings their attention back to God.
- Get Outside your Comfort Zone
Still not excited about getting an Advent wreath? That can be a good thing! Growth happens fastest outside your comfort zone.
There is something mesmerizing about a lit candle. Eating dinner with your family with the light of Advent candles burning gives dinner a refreshing ambiance.
How to use your Advent Wreath:
The wreath, if not used before, can be blessed by you or someone else in your house with the following, and sprinkle with Holy Water:
Leader: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
Leader: O God, by whose Word all things are sanctified, pour forth Your blessing upon this wreath and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and may receive from You abundant graces. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Each evening following, begin by praying over your food, praying the advent prayer, and then light the appropriate number of candles. (The candles stay lit until the meal is over).
Leader: O Lord, stir up Thy might, we beg Thee, and come, That by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins and saved by Thy deliverance. Through Christ our Lord.
Leader: O Lord, stir up our hearts that we may prepare for Thy only begotten Son, that through His coming we may be made worthy to serve Thee with pure minds. Through Christ our Lord.
Leader: O Lord, we beg Thee, incline Thy ear to our prayers and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of Thy visitation. Through Christ our Lord.
Leader: O Lord, stir up Thy power, we pray Thee, and come; and with great might help us, that with the help of Thy Grace, Thy merciful forgiveness may hasten what our sins impede. Through Christ our Lord.