Advent historically begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve.
Honoring the season with an Advent wreath is one of the most meaningful traditions in our family. It’s also one of the simplest.
- Place a small wreath on the table with four colored candles evenly spaced within it. We use all green, red, or blue, but more traditional wreaths have specified, symbolic colors. Just insert small candle holders into the wreath, but make sure you’re not creating a fire hazard.
- Place a white candle in the center, turn off the lights, and you’re ready to go. If it’s completely dark, you might consider supplementing with a non-advent candle or two to provide extra light without ruining the atmosphere.
- Simply read the script. It will tell you exactly what to do.
We celebrate each Sunday in Advent, plus Christmas Eve. Right before dinner is a good time for our family, so we can enjoy the candlelight while we eat afterward. It only takes about 10 minutes, but the solemn, beautiful words will remain with our children throughout their lives.
Each Sunday in Advent has a Lat-
in name derived from the response
(antiphon) to the entrance (introit)
psalm for each Sunday in the historic
lectionary (book of readings).
AD TE LEVAVI – 1
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
(Psalm 25:1, 24:1 in the Vulgate)
POPULUS ZION – 2
For a people shall dwell in Zion …
GAUDETE – 3
Rejoice in the Lord always;
again I will say rejoice.
RORATE COELI – 4
Shower, O heavens,
from above, and let the clouds
rain down righteousness.