How Do I Use An Advent Wreath?

I was introduced to Advent wreaths around the same time I was introduced to my husband’s family.  Charlie has 8 brothers and sisters and his parent’s house, as well as many of their homes, have an Advent wreath on the table during the Christmas season.  I don’t think I ever asked questions about them, but my curiosity was awakened and I found my first description of the Advent wreath in Maria Trapp’s book, “Around the Year With The Trapp Family”
An Advent wreath is round as a symbol of God’s mercy of which every season of Advent is a new reminder; and it has to be made of evergreens to symbolize God’s ‘everlastingness’.


I love the idea of having an Advent wreath on my table as a tangible way to remind us and our children what Christmas is really about.  In fact, if I had to choose only one tradition to observe during Advent, I think this would be it.

I hesitate to tell you the “one” type of Advent wreath to buy and the “one” way to use it because it can be such a flexible tradition.  There are so many easy ways to incorporate the wreath into family prayer or worship. What I will do is tell you the information I have found and you can adapt it according to your needs.

The Wreath

  • You can make this from evergreens, or craft supplies.  Here’s a YouTube video I found on how to make Advent wreaths that doesn’t look too tough!
  • You can make this from dough.  How To Make A Danish Advent Wreath
  • I found several beautiful Advent wreaths at that would be perfect, you can also order Advent candles through them
  • If you think this would be a good tradition for your family and you don’t have time to make a wreath, please buy one without guilt!  If you don’t have money to buy one, you can find a way to make them very cheaply.

The Candles

  • I choose to use three purple candles and one pink candle for the wreath itself, and I place a white candle in the middle to be lit on Christmas morning
  • the three purple candles stand for royalty and symbolize that Christ is the Prince of Peace
  • the pink candle is used the last Sunday of Advent and symbolizes joy
  • the white candle represents Christ!
  • You can choose other candles as well.  Sometimes all red candles are used, sometimes blue.

The Tradition

  • Light one purple candle on the first Sunday of Advent, then two purple candl es the second Sunday and so on.  The pink candle is saved for the fourth Sunday.
  • Some of our family like to leave the candle burning throughout dinner, then do a prayer time or devotion.
  • We don’t always have an evening meal at home on Sundays, so when we observe this I light it at breakfast on Sunday or Monday.  Do what works for your family!
  • According to Maria Trapp’s book, the candles are so named:
1.  Candle of Prophecy
2.  Candle of Bethlehem
3.  Shepherd’s Candle
4.  Angel’s Candle
For a simple devotional during the Sundays of Advent you can download this Advent wreath PDF from Veritas Press.   You’ll learn about the meaning of each candle, there’s a Scripture, a carol, and a picture for the children to color or look at.
I’ll post more on how to make a danish Advent wreath, and devotions you may choose to read throughout Advent.  (You’ll also find a couple of Baby Days posts from guests this week!)
Don’t forget to link up your holiday posts at the Preparing for Jesus home page!
Do you have traditions centered around an Advent wreath?  Please share what your family loves…
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Christy can be found at the beach chasing naked toddlers and cheering on her young surfers. She founded One Fun Mom to share her imperfect life and encourage moms to love how God made them. She's delighted to have you join her and her fabulous writing team as you all journey closer to God and learn to love others through His example.

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  1. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this series!! I tried to do Advent devotional a friend gave me last year, and while the content was good, it wasn’t terribly conducive to small kids. I’m excited to glean from what you share here, and I think we may try an advent wreath this year!! Yay!
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  2. We love and use our wreaths are home. It’s a great teaching tool!
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  1. […] addthis_share = [];}Advent is here on Sunday!  Here’s a super-cheap and fairly easy-to-make Advent wreath using bread dough!  If you live somewhere evergreens are scarce, or don’t have the resources […]

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