Cowart's Common Room
Advent Day 10

The 2nd Sunday of Advent - the 2nd candle has been lit on our old and tatty Advent wreath. Very Happy

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The purple candles are lit on the 1st, 2nd and 4th Sundays. Purple is the penitential colour of fasting whilst pink is the colour of joy and the pink candle is lit on the 3rd Sunday which is known as Gaudete (from the Latin meaning “rejoice”) and represents the coming joy of Christmas. The white candle is lit on Christmas Day.

This is the type of wreath we have in RC churches. I think there are some people who have wreaths with 4 red candles, I’m not sure what these represent, does anyone have one like that?

Posted at 10th Dec 2017 - 12:20PM   Posted by Bradan   Advent Day 10 Comments: 15

Fairy Nuff's Avatar Only when we made one along with Blue Peter! Very Happy

I've not come across one with purple candles before only red ones, I believe the tradition is not actually all that old (early 1800s?) so I guess different denominations have made up their own versions.
I wonder if anyone else uses other colours of candles?
Must go and have a look...

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 10th Dec 2017 at 12:45PM

Fairy Nuff's Avatar Found this which puts it nice and simply, interesting too...

In a season filled with red Santa suits and green Christmas trees, the purple and pink candles of the Advent wreath can seem incongruous with many Catholic families’ usual Christmas decorations. The modern Advent wreath, created in 19th-century Germany by Johann Hinrich Wichern, featured red and white candles. While these colors may be more in keeping with traditional Christmas décor, they were most likely used because they were just what was available.

A Lutheran pastor, Wichern was actively involved in the Inner Mission movement, which promoted the development of social service organizations for the poor. In 1839 students at a school Wichern established for poor boys in Hamburg kept asking him when Christmas would arrive. Using an old cart wheel, Wichern crafted a wreath of four large white candles, with small red candles between them. The children would light a new candle each day, and a new white candle on each of the four Sundays of Advent. When all the candles had been lit, it was time to celebrate Christmas.

Subsequent generations of German Christians simplified Wichern’s original design, making wreaths with only four red candles. Other Christian churches soon adapted the wreath for their own needs and understandings of the season. To reinforce the symbolism of the liturgical vestments worn by priests, Catholics swapped the red candles for three purple candles—the color typically associated with penance—and one pink, the color of rejoicing worn on the third Sunday of Advent. In Orthodox Christian churches, where the observance of Advent lasts 40 days, the wreath has six candles that are green (faith), blue (hope), gold (love), white (peace), purple (penance), and red (communion). Members of the Moravian Church use four plain beeswax candles that can be made at home, reflecting a faith tradition that values simplicity and domestic work.

Lutherans in the United States today are split over how an Advent wreath should be constructed. Like Catholics, members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod use pink and purple candles. Arguing that the focus of Advent should not be penance, as symbolized by the use of purple, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America teaches that the Advent wreath should be made with four blue candles, symbolizing hope and expectation.

In less than 200 years, the Advent wreath has become an important and meaningful part of the Advent season for Christians on both sides of the Atlantic. It is also a tradition that is still evolving, and even at the highest levels of the Catholic Church can reflect both theological meaning and cultural significance. In 2006 photographers snapped a few shots of the Advent wreath in Benedict XVI’s office. The German pontiff’s wreath featured four red candles.

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 10th Dec 2017 at 12:53PM

Bradan's Avatar I did have a look on Google re: red candles, FN and saw that but couldn't be bothered to read it all so I just wrote what I've been taught, as I'm post 1800s Very Happy - interesting that Ratzinger had red candles Laughing

It just shows really how far we have come from the original traditions of keeping the Solstice and the return of the sun. Very Happy

Posted by: Bradan on 10th Dec 2017 at 01:39PM

Faith's Avatar That's lovely Bradan, doesn't look tatty at all. As RC myself I am used to the colours of the candles in your Advent wreath, and have to say I have never seen ones with other colours.

Posted by: Faith on 10th Dec 2017 at 02:13PM

Fairy Nuff's Avatar I should imagine a large number of them now are just table decorations with no idea of the meaning behind them so any kind of fancy candle would do.

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 10th Dec 2017 at 02:31PM

Camilla's Avatar So pretty Bradan, never seen one with purple candles and pink ones before I love them, and your wreath is not tatty at all.Very Happy

Posted by: Camilla on 10th Dec 2017 at 03:17PM

Bradan's Avatar Thanks Faith and Camilla Very Happy

FN - it's the same with Advent calenders these days. When I was young the doors on the calenders had a wee verse telling the Christmas story, my sister and I were always so excited to get to the biggest door behind which was a picture of the Nativity. My children had a similar one.

Nowadays, it's chocolates or other gifts behind the doors. There's even ones for adults, costing a fortune, which have perfume and beauty products in them.

Posted by: Bradan on 10th Dec 2017 at 03:59PM

KitKatCot's Avatar I'm a bit surprised also that the Pope Emeritus Benedict had red candles. Ours are purple and white, we miss out the pink, mainly because we can't find one!

We will probably find a pink candle at Easter and think what's that doing here?

Posted by: KitKatCot on 10th Dec 2017 at 05:28PM

Fennie's Avatar In my day Christmas never came at all - or so it seemed. Advent just went on and on and it seemed a depressing sort of season relived only by the story of the old woman (whose name I have forgotten - please don't mark me down angels - I mean well) 'well stricken in years' (see I remember that bit) having a baby and her husband being struck dumb.

Here was a real story with real people to go on with while you were building cribs and being scolded for bringing bits of straw and hay into the house and all sorts of creepy crawlies too. But there would be beetles in a stable, I protested, to no avail. Still I didn't want to transgress and be struck dumb as well, so the china oxen had to go hungry.

I don't remember candles as a child of whatever colour. I think we had a morbid fear of house fires and setting the curtains alight and there being none left over in case of a power cut. Maybe they were considered also too RC by my stepmother for we had religious wars in my household between my Catholic Great Aunt and my fiercely Protestant stepmother, with my agnostic father trying to hold the reins. The season of good will never stretched to religion. And even when Christmas came I was disappointed to be told that the Church considered Easter with its chocolate eggs more important. Was the crib in vain then?

All rather bewildering to a small child. We did though have fetching and to me miraculous paper decorations stuck to the ceiling with sellotape and maybe that was the reason we didn't have candles.

Posted by: Fennie on 10th Dec 2017 at 06:35PM

Faith's Avatar We had angel chimes (with candles) when I was a child but I don't remember any others.

As to Advent Calenders, I was sent one by the People's Postcode Lottery this year and each little window tells where some of the money raised is going e.g. Magic Breakfast - which ensured 8,450 school children in deprived areas started their day with a healthy breakfast - and Music in Hospitals which brought live music and entertainment to 8,200 older people during their hospital stay. I look forward to opening the window each day.

Posted by: Faith on 10th Dec 2017 at 08:23PM

Bradan's Avatar That's lovely, Faith and in the proper spirit of Advent. We are doing the reverse Advent box thingy here for the food bank.

We had angel chimes with candles also.

Posted by: Bradan on 10th Dec 2017 at 10:10PM

Bradan's Avatar Oh yes, I should have said 'Pope Emeritus Benedict' like KKC and not Ratzinger Embarassed but I wasn't a fan off his, having been pleased initially when he was elected.

Also like KKC, we sometimes didn't have a pink candle and had all purple and sometimes no white candle so used a white tea light Very Happy

Fennie - I think you mean Elizabeth, mother of John the baptist and wife of Zachariah (who was struck dumb). It's sad that you found Advent depressing, it was a lovely time of anticipation when I was young and also my children and it still is today for us, so many things to do and make and look forward to. Very Happy

Posted by: Bradan on 10th Dec 2017 at 10:17PM

Fennie's Avatar I think I found Advent depressing, Faith, because unlike these days when time moves faster than an express train and you've scarcely time to put the decorations away before it is time to get them out again, when I was little time seemed to move at the pace of an arthritic snail and so Christmas never seemed to come no matter how much you longed or prepared for it and this was infinitely depressing especially being told not to wish your life away.

Yes, of course, Elisabeth and Zachariah. I remember now. And in my version of the Nativity I have Zachariah (Uncle Zac) marrying Joseph and Mary (the Bible I think leaves them rather stranded in this regard) when they return from Egypt, he having promised to do so if ever he were to regain his speech. And it is at this wedding that the magical hare changes water into wine, bequeathing the trick to the 4 year old Jesus for use on another occasion when he's grown up. Very HappyVery Happy[/quote]

Posted by: Fennie on 10th Dec 2017 at 11:04PM

Withy Brook's Avatar We lit our second candle in Church yesterday. It was purple. I am not sure if there is a pink one, I expect there is. As you say, the white one is formChristmas Day. When I was young we had a very basic Church with no frills and I do not remember an Advent Wreath.

Posted by: Withy Brook on 11th Dec 2017 at 11:02AM

Ivy's Avatar As a child we always had a wreath with 4 red candles ( not the white ones in between) in our town hall we have the original Wichern wreath, but then Johan Hinrich Wichern was from Hamburgand the colours are the city colours... Now we have what ever candle colour I fancy, this time it is white last year it was red...

Posted by: Ivy on 11th Dec 2017 at 11:38AM

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