Wednesday, December 17, 2008

only 8 more sleeps

Advent Calendar - December 17

Christmas Fact:

Every Sunday of Advent people in churches all across the world light candles in Advent wreaths.

"Many assign special significance to each of the four wreath candles. Some say they represent the four gifts of the Holy Spirit: hope, joy, peace, and love. Others use them to represent the themes of the Advent season. Thus they may signify hope, preparation, joy, love, or light. Still others tell the story of Jesus' birth with the candles, allowing each to stand for some of the important figures associated with the Nativity, such as the prophets, angels, shepherds, and magi." - Encyclopedia of Christmas p. 9

This year the first Sunday of Advent in 2008 was on November 30th. On the third Sunday of Advent (the Sunday just past) some churches celebrate White Gift Sunday. The tradition began in a Methodist church in Ohio in 1904. People were encouraged to bring whatever gifts they could, all wrapped in white paper to avoid comparison. These gifts were then blessed in the service and later distributed to poor families and people in homeless shelters etc.

Here are instructions on how to make and use an advent wreath (for next year).

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