What is Advent?

Advent is a Latin word that means "coming."  The season of Advent is the four week period before Christmas that the Church uses to remember the "coming" of the Christ.  We celebrate that he came once as a baby in Bethlehem, and that he will come again at the end of time.

The Advent Wreath is a combination of two very common symbols; light and the fir tree.  From the early centuries of Christianity it has been the practice to represent Christ by a burning candle.  The fir tree has a long history of religious us.  No doubt, the Advent Wreath has suggested by the Christmas tree.

It seems that the Advent Wreath originated a few hundred years ago among the Lutherans of eastern Germany.  A wreath of evergreens, made in various sizes, was either suspended from the ceiling or placed ion a table.  Four candles representing the four Sundays of Advent were fastened to the wreath.

Eventually the use of the Advent Wreath became wide spread and moved also from the home into the church.  The general symbolism of the Advent Wreath lies in the growing light of the wreath, increasing each week as we approach the day of Jesus' birth, the Light of the world.