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History Of The Celtic Advent Wreath

The Celtic advent wreath is a symbol of unity and waiting. This garland of evergreens holds four candles traditionally and represents the days after Christmas when Christians wait for the coming of Christ. There are many versions of this wreath, some of which are made of metal, others which make a bridge form, and still other types that are made in the form of a wreath. Though traditionally the wreath is set on the table with certain color candles in their holders in the circle, many church services will tie a theme to the four candles to make the period of waiting for meaningful.

The Celtic advent wreath has been around for hundreds of years. It was first used in Ireland in the Celtic traditions. Here candles would be lit and some people may assign a symbol to each candle that they have such as hope, faith, joy, and love. This is not always the case and as traditions become more modern in their representations, so has the look and meaning behind the wreath. It is simply a marker of time that has passed and represents each Sunday that is in this passing. Candles are the beacon of this faith marker.

The Celtic advent wreath is part of the Liturgical year in the Catholic calendar. This time is considered a time of holiday when fasting is supposed to occur. Although many do not participate in fasting anymore, there still are many devout Catholics who choose to partake in this. The advent starts between November 27th and December 3rd depending on what day Sunday falls on. This is the day on which the first candle of Advent is lit. The following Sundays conclude another candle being lit. Some advent wreaths may have a fifth candle which is called the Christ candle. This is normally the last and final candle to be lit.

The traditional colors of the Celtic advent wreath are violet and rose. If you do not have one color then you can substitute it with the other. If you have the fifth candle placement representing Christ then this color is normally white. Nonetheless, if all you can come across is white candle then you can use these for all placements in your advent wreath. Although many traditionalists hold that the color coordination should not be messed with, many others just celebrate with what they have on hand. That you are celebrating is what it important.

The Celtic advent wreath is a very symbolic wreath. It is used to hold four candles traditionally as they are lit during Advent, the days between November 27th and December 3rd when the first candle is lit. Each candle is lit each following Sunday to represent the coming of Christ as the Nativity Store and the celebration of his birth commonly known as Christmas. This celebration is very important to many Catholics and many choose to fast during this period. However, anyone can celebrate this period of waiting. Many people around the world celebrate Christmas, but still fewer celebrate the Advent in the Liturgical Year.


This article was published on Tuesday 07 June, 2011.

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